My son is grown and has a four-year old boy of his own. This evening I got a text that read, 'So...when we were kids and threw up over eating our vegetables, did you see that as a sickness to be merciful about? Or just disobedience? Hypothetically speaking of course...'
I wrote back, Are you asking me as a mother or a grammy?
He replied, 'I want the historically correct version.'
Time seems to alter history. I don't remember exactly why it seemed so important for the boys to sit in their chairs and eat their brocolli. But I think it boiled down to two basics; learning to try new things, and being polite.
Years later we were invited to dinner at the house of an Indian gentleman who worked for Bob. His wife had created a beautiful and complex meal for us. She served it and stood in the doorway, waiting on us while we ate. Our kids didn't know what to make of this. They didn't know what to make of all the food on the table either. Except for the rice, it was all new to them.
I watched them pick up their forks and start eating. They ate. And ate, not realizing that cleaning your plate was the signal you were ready for more--so they had to keep eating.
They were splendid.
They ate the brocolli.