One thought on “Essay on Open Salon

  1. Hello again Rebecca, I was catching up on some reading this morning and read your Open Salon post… just loved it. I know this war about how and what we should eat all too well having six children and now fifteen grandchildren. I now have a “clean plate” son in law but most the family falls somewhere between my so very liberal view and this young man.

    My mother was so different from her depression raised contemporaries and I was the ultimate picky eater. Not only was I stubborn about what I would eat, I would only allow one food on my plate and mother indulged me with extra little dishes. I ate only one food at a time and school lunch was a traumatic event every day. No packed lunches for me I hated them.

    One day in the fifth grade, I would not eat my apple salad because it had peanuts in it. I loved apple salad and peanuts but the dressing made the peanuts soft and I hated them together. My teacher sent home a note. “If Vivian does not start cleaning her plate, she will no longer be allowed to buy school lunches and will have to pack.” Mother’s return note read. “I work, Vivian does not like packed lunches and I pay for her lunch every day, so she will eat in the school cafeteria and she will find enough food to eat. She is healthy and knows how to eat just fine. It’s her choice and she will not starve to death by the time she gets home.”

    This silly little event was probably the most profound of my life. I learned that i had the right to chose and that my mother supported me completely, even at the age of ten. I had been taught to respect my elders and that they were usually right, but also that I had the right and obligation to question and not to trust or accept on face value what they said that I needed was correct for me.

    I would love to be a little birdie in your house when Merida comes home and you get to open her little treasure chest that you give to her each morning. I would love the surprise and amazement to see what she chose that day. Why did she only choose vegetables today and not any fruit? I have to wonder, did she grab an apple or banana for an after school snack or is it just a veggie day. Or maybe her best friend shared her peaches. What is she choosing and why?

    I envy this time in your life, getting to see your daughter use those wings that your have given her for her first flight into the world. Yes, she is testing the world and you. Mom thinks I need all of this, but I don’t want to eat my fritter (maybe it was her favorite “baby” food and now she is all grown up) and the next day, her little body says, well maybe I do need a little protein. It is indeed the best time in life, even better than all the snuggle years and it is just the beginning.

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