Parenting Perspectives: Giving is food for thoughtSince September, an average-size cardboard box has become part of my kitchen décor. And every Sunday, I scour The Forum’s advertising inserts, looking for sales on kid-friendly food – macaroni and cheese, juice boxes, soup, individual-size containers of cereal, etc.
By: Kathy Tofflemire, INFORUM
Since September, an average-size cardboard box has become part of my kitchen décor.
And every Sunday, I scour The Forum’s advertising inserts, looking for sales on kid-friendly food – macaroni and cheese, juice boxes, soup, individual-size containers of cereal, etc.
When the box is full – it usually takes me three to four weeks to fill one – I take it to the Great Plains Food Bank for the local Backpack Program, which sends food home with children who might not have enough to eat on the weekends.
My younger grandson recently expressed jealousy that I bought juice boxes for “them” and not for him and his brother. Then his older sibling felt he must explain the needs of “them.”
I have always tried to be charitable. I have contributed to the United Way for probably all of my 40-plus years of employment, and I have an eclectic list of organizations that I donate to, including an animal welfare group and a veterans organization. (The latter has supplied me with wonderful address labels, enough to last me several lifetimes. Blame the huge surplus on online banking.)
But there is something about the thought of children going hungry that tugs at my heart – and that’s only since I’ve become a grandmother.
That’s what I find odd. I wasn’t so concerned when my daughter was a child. Was I too busy to notice, or was hunger less of a problem then? Or maybe it was less of a publicized problem?
I hate to think I was less benevolent as a young mother, but I probably was. The birth of my grandsons has made my heart grow bigger – just like the Grinch, though I don’t think mine started out quite as small.
I have found that when reading news stories of tragedies befalling children, my thoughts immediately connect to “my boys.”
My daughter has always claimed that if something ever happened to one of her sons, they would have to haul her away to the nearest psychiatric hospital because she couldn’t recover from the loss.
That has made her more of a “helicopter mom” than her own mother ever was. I guess she doesn’t really hover, but she worries about them when they are out of her care. I observed the eye-rolling at a visit to Valley Fair last summer when her younger son was given the reminder of what he should do if he became lost.
I suspect her worry led to her encouraging the boys to become proficient in Brazilian jujitsu. Pity the fool who might try to grab one of them.
But I digress. I have to finish this column and go shopping. There’s a sale on canned ravioli at the neighborhood supermarket.
Kathy Tofflemire is a copy editor at The Forum. Readers can reach her at (701) 241-5514 or firstname.lastname@example.org