inside our refrigerator sits half a quart of red delicious strawberries. they've been on sale at the grocery store for the last few weeks. i love strawberries. they have been one of my top favorite foods since i was a very small child. i'm not going to eat the strawberries in the fridge tonight, though i surely want to. i have some chocolate sitting on the spice shelf that would go nicely with those juicy, slightly tart, beauties. no, i am not going to eat them. i'm not going to eat them because cosmo also loves strawberries. we have such a hard time getting him to eat enough, and he gets excited about fruit of any kind, especially berries. i just don't have the heart to eat them, when i know how happy he will be to see them in the morning.
it's part of the mythology of motherhood that we make sacrifices for our children. mom always serves herself last at the dinner table, claims to like the parts of the chicken with the least meat (so the rest of the family can have the best pieces) etc...i haven't really experienced this aspect of motherhood myself. i was completely ready to have cosmo when i did, i have no regrets, or resentments. i embrace the changes in my lifestyle that resulted from becoming a parent. it feels to me like everything got better when cosmo came along. i also haven't really noticed the extra cost of having a child, or at least not as much as i was warned i would. as i said, cosmo doesn't eat much. sure, i am more likely to by high quality, organic, hormone-free dairy and eggs, whole grain cereals and breads for cosmo, and of course, those things are more costly. he does grow out of clothes rather quickly. but between gifts, hand-me-downs, goodwill, yard sales and children's resale, we don't spend much on his clothes. i'm aware that as they get older, the costs increase, but so far, i feel like the gain far out-weighs the cost. in fact, there is no way to measure it (the gain).
in other words, i'm not a martyr-type mom. and yet, i almost never eat bananas anymore. i know i always used to. i lived alone for most of my adult life. i bought bananas every week, and they never went bad. i ate them. i like them. what's not to like? they're healthy, sweet, filling, easy to deal with. but now, i don't eat bananas. cosmo usually eats two of them before he even gets out of bed in the morning. he'll eat a few more throughout the day. carl has a banana for breakfast, as a late morning ritual. we buy 12 or more at a time, almost daily! we have been known to make trips to the store, just for bananas (and maybe half and half). i don't usually eat them, because i want to make sure there are enough for cosmo and carl. it is a strange feeling. i'm not used to it--this whole "caring for others before one's self" it's new to me. i think i like it. maybe even more than strawberries.
last week cosmo and i picked violets to put in our salad. there were plenty of those, and i ate my fill. so did cosmo.