G1 (girl one – blame my husband, he started it so we wouldn’t have to spell when they were little) does not eat her grapes for lunch on Thursday. Excellent. I resend them on Friday. My job is to mark, “check,” on the mental list requiring me to provide healthy lunches. I mark check. Grapes return as expected.
To the chickens or the fridge? I ask myself.
Nasty North American, there is nothing wrong with those grapes.
I put them in the fridge. North American digs can be very persuasive.
Saturday, G2 asks for grapes. Triumph. G2 is so busy being happy all the time I could feed her almost anything. Smiling, I remove tupperware of grapes from fridge, re-rinsing for extra love and set them by her place.
G2 leaves without touching a grape. She accidentally got too full on the carrots and cucumbers.
Fresh, clean, lovely grapes are put out in a bowl for guests who do not eat them. B1 swoops in quickly. “Mind if I have some grapes?”
Victory from the ashes. Problem solved. My hand reaches for the grapes in the Tupperware. I start to explain that these need to be eaten first.
And then I close my mouth. I realize that I want him to eat the grapes that were pulled off the stems on Thursday morning, and travelled back and forth to school twice so that I don’t have to. The grapes were probably not touched by a booger picker, but the possibility remains that they could have been. Possibly even more than once. Potential booger fragments in a cozy warm lunch pail, now little invisible armies all over the grapes.
Chicken food? I ask myself again meekly.
But I do not want to be a nasty North American who is too good to eat perfectly good food which probably does not have boogers on it. This is why I need my son to eat them.
I sit there staring at B1, who no doubt wonders about how much concentration is going into his request for grapes. Sitting in between two containers of grapes, I feel like I am in the woods watching the two roads diverge into the yellow woods. In the struggle, I am forgetting to breathe.
“Ok,” I say.
I get up and wash the old grapes one more time. I eat them, while watching B1 consume the whole bowl of good grapes. I am strangely content.