Ever hear that song? (bachman turner overdrive, I think). Well, it's finally the weekend which is good and bad in terms of the hunger challenge. As I said in a previous blog, Jim and I are both so busy and on such a tight schedule during the week that there isn't a lot of time, in some ways making it easier. Not that I didn't feel the hunger in my stomach or feel the energy lag... I was distracted.
But now it's the weekend and we're home with the kids. Jim is usually in his Massachusetts district on Saturdays so this is a rare and welcome treat. Our kids -- like most kids at ages 9 and 5 -- are very active and demanding. They require a lot of energy and patience -- both of which run low on limited or bad fuel. I'm happy we're two-on-two today.
I just made an egg which I fork-whipped with water to try to stretch it and sprinkled a bit of cheese in. My son said it "looked like barf" and I could see his point but it sure tasted good. I've reported before that Jim is really the cook in the family and that's out of necessity, I'm afraid.
I keep thinking back to a comment by Becky on day 1 who wanted us to know that her son never missed a meal, even though he didn't always like what he ate. That comment hit me to the core and has stuck with me ever since. I remember when I was pregnant with my son (so about 10 years ago) seeing a commercial. It started with hands taking ketchup and sugar packets from a fast food restaurant and stuffing them in pockets. Then you see a woman at home putting the packets in a saucepan on a hot plate, adding water and stirring it up. She puts it in bowls and serves it to 2 children. One eats; the other won't. She softly pleads with the child to try just a bite or two. I was so deeply saddened by that -- and at the time thought I was so emotional in part because I was pregnant. But that scene has stuck in my mind all of these years. And Becky made me think of it again -- good mothers trying to do their best with so little.
Several of my friends have told me this week about growing up poor and knowing it but, because of their parent or parents, it wasn't the overriding memory. Both women -- who don't know each other -- told me the same thing at different times: that their parent(s) made them feel secure (even though they were food insecure). One was raised by a single father (her mother had died) and their were eight of their 10 kids in the house. He worked as a plumber and raised these kids alone. She said he was always there for her and I questioned how that possibly could have been? One thing I've learned from reading your comments and from this experience is how much time and preparation it takes to live on this austere budget. She told me how he'd take the little bits of meat they had left on the weekend and grind it down, add condiments and they'd spread it on bread. Yet, even with the stress of his job, the shopping, cooking, care-taking... he still was able to make them feel secure.
As I read the advice comments that come to us from you I see where that compassion came from. Good people who are doing the best they can and are willing to help out others facing a similar challenge (even those doing it briefly, like me).
I can't help but think if our country is able to find money for wars and other things it claims to be "necessary"....can't we -- shouldn't we -- consider it necessary to make sure our neighbors and their kids aren't hungry? I hope people who feel as I do will call for this too.