“Mom I’m hungry.” Trace calls out.
He always announces his hunger and I know it’s only because he’s seeing the Golden arches, Wendy’s, DQ or some other kind of quick and easy meal that I know if I stop — will go straight to my thighs, plug the arteries of my heart and basically cause me to feel bloated, stupid for eating the crap and regretful for even wolfing down the 200grams of solid fat that has no nutritional value in it what so ever.
And then it hits me. Why does Trace ask so often when he sees these places?
I know it’s my fault that my six year old craves greasy, easy to come by foods that will only harm him later.
It’s my fault that whenever I got hungry, I found it easier to pull through, talk into a speaker and BAM! food in a bag without the hassles of actually cooking.
I know it’s my fault.
But I’m trying to change things.
On father’s day we went out to my brother’s for supper. I was really looking forward to my first real BBQ of the season. The kids were all excited to play together. My brother has five kids, so my boys always look forward to seeing their cousins. The menu for the event was just good old fashioned food.
Potato Salad, Watermelon and Fruit, Cheese and Crackers, Chicken Wings, Hamburgers and Smokies.
Trace stared at his dinner plate and frowned at me, “What do I do?” he asked.
I told him to choose what he wanted on his hamburger. Trace’s eyes grew wide with excitement. I watched as Trace made up his bun. He chose some Swiss Cheese and Marble, several pickles (his favourite) a little ketchup and lots of lettuce. Then he turned to me, telling me how huge the burger was and asked if I could cut it into four. Of course I obliged.
Dinner was excellent. The company fantastic. I didn’t even finish my burger or salad. I had some fruit, water to drink and a fruit juice my brother made in the blender for me (I love him!) which was so yummy, and felt so full.
“That was the bestest burger ever mama!” Trace told me later on. Happiness beamed across his face.
“Better than McDonalds?” I asked him.
You know honestly there was no hesitation. Trace nodded emphatically. He then explained how juicy and yummy his burger was and that it tasted NEW.
He meant FRESH! Of course I laughed. I love the way he explains things.
Later that night when Trace and I were having a snuggle, I looked at him. I had tears instantly fill my eyes as I stared at my beautiful son. So young and innocent, learning from me and suddenly I emptied my heart to him. Whether he understood or not, I felt the need to explain my actions.
I told Trace how sorry I was for making him eat yucky McDonald’s and Wendy’s all those times we went to grab a bite.
I told him how bad that food is for him and the reason he craves it, is because it’s filled with salt and stuff in it that makes him feel more hungry than not.
I told him that although he doesn’t understand these changes mommy is making ie: (no more cookies, no more junk, less pop and treats that he was used to) it’s not just for me but for him and his brother and daddy, because we want to be around a long time to be here with him.
I told him I loved him.
Trace hugged me and smiled. “I know mama. I love you too,” he told me back.
And you know… that didn’t take away my guilt for being a bad mother and setting up my kids for failure health wise. But it did make me feel better, knowing that as I continue to change things, slowly but surely. In the end it will be worth it.
And that really is part of this journey.