It is is true, Never say Never…..
And I have learned more truth behind this phrase….since becoming a mother. I swore never to do so many things on this list I am just about to share with you. But that was five years ago, when life was still ALL about me.
Call me tree hugger, paranoid, earthy or soulful. I did not care what label got pasted on me. All I wanted was to stay healthy and fit. Keep away from any unnecessary hormones or pounds into and onto my flesh. And, I did that with a big pie of consciousness. I swore by conscious living, which is pretty much summarized by one of my favorite all time Vanessa William’s Colors of the Wind
You think you own whatever land you land on
The earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name
That’s it……That was my mantra….!
Much more empowering, particularly living in a land of “all things possible and fast”. I could get a 5 oz Häagen-Dazs ice cream, all to myself OR a whole chicken or a box of dunkin donuts, all under $20. Many a time, I deliberately chose to starve myself, not because I had nothing to eat, but because I preferred to keep away from food. No thank you, to Pizza or fast food Burger King, McDonalds and all that. I drank water, tea without sugar, stayed away from colored juices, and a few times bought 100% packaged juice. I also refused to buy into the Hollywood fantasy or some of the US cultural holidays, like Halloween or Thanksgiving. That to me, was a promotion of consumerism, worshiping dead people (in the case of Halloween) or commemorating a people who exterminated and robbed a whole nation of Native Americans with a full holiday and fete (Thanksgiving). So, I stayed away from all the hullabaloo about such days.
Not too much anymore, now that I have a five-year old American child who is coming of age in America. Ok, I still take my tea without Sugar, except when I treat myself to honey; I am not a “chicken girl”, as I call myself, and YES! I stick to 100% juice freshly pressed from home or bought in store, as a compromise. But I have thrown out many of my Nevers…..either because I want to cut corners or in the name of pleasing my son or giving him The American experience. So, here is how I have re-arranged myself with Things we do for love…
1. Learned to drive when my son was seven months. Living in the suburbs, where public transport is not a reliable option, I realized that I had to dump my “I am a city girl crap”, and get behind the wheel. I would not encourage anyone to wait until they are of age to learn to drive, but do it if it gets that bad…..because, the rest is, her-story…
2. Class Projects made from scratch. For “show and tell” activities that pre-school and Kindergarten teachers ask to do at home. While every minute counts expensively, we have decided not to take pre-done or purchased items anymore. Instead, we make ours -yes that takes too much time but the returns are gratifying. For instance, the last time we made a ball and cap for “Orange Day” show-and-tell.
3. Ordering Pizza because my son loves it when he has a chance to eat it. He does not get many of such opportunities, and I have convinced his popsy not to feed him too much pizza. Not just because I consider it junk food [no offense to pizza lovers] but, maybe so (at least for me). Plus, he has constipation issues since birth, especially when he consumes wheat. So, it is safer to keep pizza away from him. Although, now I give him a pizza treat once in a while – and he’s exhilarated!
4. In bed with Hollywood because my son loves visuals. We watched Lion King, Finding Nemo, Cars and Ice age from bootleg home videos. We watched The Incredibles from a friend’s 3D home video. And then, I gave into temptation, and went to the movies to watch Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs. Oh! he loved them, and I did too! I feel asleep while watching Despicable Me 2 in a moving theater with him, and woke up to little giggles. How can anyone resist taking such a cute happy one back to the next big thing in Anime?:)
5. Make believe anything, from pretending to be an astronaut, a pilot or a truck driver, I have done it all. We play anything he says we should play – restaurant, where he is the chef and I am the customer, riding cards – he is McQueen and I am Francesco or going to the park and pretending to throw and bat a baseball, with no play instruments whatsoever.
6. Becoming the Pancake Lady, just about every weekend. Thanks to Pinterest, I could find a health recipe lower in carbs. Now that I know I can substitute anything with wheat, I have bought me corn flour to substitute the whole wheat. I add apple sauce and banana…then I do not need any Maple Syrup.
7. Perhaps TV does not rot the brain, always, as I used to tell my son. I am not a TV person so I claim. But do not ask me how I am Keeping Up with the Kardashians, hangout with The New Atlanta, all the Housewives, worship at the altar of America’s Next Top Model, and met Girlfriends, Two and a half men, and Everybody Love Raymond! The official claim is, I get drawn to this kind of TV while flipping through channels to find the news, Court TV or Discovery. In reality, this is my guilty-pleasure. Since discovering PBS Kids, I have revamped my mantra, and let my son watch, learn, enjoy, laugh and share. No rot there! Good thing, he has little interest in Nickelodeon…until his cousins come to visit.
8. Eating microwave popcorn just about everyday. I do not know if this is related to my son at all, but it is something I picked up since having him. I love love love popcorn. I am still doing fat free OR 94% fat free, but I am probably gonna be eating popcorn for a while longer.
9. Jumping onto American holidays to Trick-or-Treat or Thanksgiving. I confess that the first Thanksgiving I celebrated in my 15+ years of living in America was probably back in 2002? But that was with a friend’s family. I do not remember many more thereafter. But in 2008, following the birth of my son, we did a real Family Thanksgiving, and in 2009 did our first Trick-or-Treat had much! Then we left the country two years later. Now that we are back… Trick-or-Treat, with Captain America and Bat Girl! it was, with the entire neighborhood! more exciting doing it when the kid is grown!
10. Bye bye Calorie Count, sometime. For a little ice cream or fries and burger OR to take advantage of the playground at McDonalds, whenever it is cold or too hot outside or just because I need to sit down and unwind and write. And did you know, McDonalds has salads too? and 3 for $1 cookies? Oh! such a royal treat.
But at least, we have not given in completely. Whether we are driving our SUV gas guzzlers, eating popcorn, giving our money to Hollywood, playing “make believe” and making “applesauce, raisins and walnut whole wheat [or corn] pancakes. We are still 100% all Natural and Gluten Free! EXCEPT….:)