Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This is really Tara's story...

My friend Tara works at a community center in California. I know, I know, I don't think she should be working that closely with children either, but apparently she's quite good at it. Right now the summer day camp is going on, which means a lot of kids are dropped off by parents who just don't know what to do with them. Among those who come to the camp are a pair of 4-year old twins with a mother Tara describes as a Barbie that has seen better days. But it isn't the woman's appearance that worries Tara, it's what she gives her kids for lunch.

The first day of camp the kids arrived with a bag of croutons -- oh, and a Diet Coke. Now, I know that on some nights when I don't want to cook opening up a bag of croutons seems like a perfectly reasonable dinner. And if I put our ranch dressing as a dip, Ryan agrees. In fact, after hearing Tara's story I craved croutons for about four hours. Parmesan croutons to be exact. But I digress. Apparently thit is not a balanced meal for young children.

The next day the kids arrived -- and their lunch had a bit more variety. One had Doritos while the other had Funyuns. Oh, and another Diet Coke. I know some people who survived college on a similar diet, but again, we are talking about children. And I doubt either wants to stay their present height. Tara decided to say something to the woman, suggesting that maybe she might want to put more consideration into what she packed her children for lunch. The woman was apparently incredulous, protesting that would mean going to the grocery store, which she just couldn't manage that week. But she would try next week.

By Monday of this week, after hearing the stories from Tara, I waited with bated breath to find out what they had brought for lunch. Would she make a total transformation and send them with sandwiches and pieces of fruit? Or would she just go a little healthier with a bag of Baked Lays? Finally, the answer came. The kids were there -- with a pound boxes of strawberries. Oh, and a Diet Coke.

This has now become my obsession. I wake up every morning excited about the bizarre lunches these kids might bring. Ease seems to be the key, so I think of them showing up with a gallon jar of three bean salad, or a whole roasted chicken from the grocery deli. Either would truly make my day. After all, if this woman has children -- how bad of a parent could I possibly turn out to be? When my children eventually are yelling at me how much they hate me (and I know it will happen) I can shout back "Well, at least I never fed you croutons for lunch." And I will feel vindicated.


Amanda said...

You will need to keep us posted on that - it is like an episode of Passions, you have to stay and watch.

mom said...

I love Tara, and I love croutons, I like the garlic ones with balsamic vinegar dressing--like being in Paris. I don't like Diet Coke. Hey, I never fed you guys that way--I boiled hotdogs for breakfast and handed you money for lunch--top drawer all the way.

Tara said...

UPDATE: I didn't find out what they brought for lunch on Friday, but the little girl WAS wearing a t shirt that declared "Party the RIGHT way...The MILLER LITE Way!". And while that mean seem charming on the drunk woman at the bar that "loves you guys sooooooo much", it really has a different feel when you see it in a child's size 6x.