We were at a family breakfast for my son’s kindergarten class, which is a big event for the kids. Almost all the parents come and each family brings some assigned dish, selected by the kids. There is a song or two, some showing of their art work, some reading and then it’s over within the hour.
We got lucky at this breakfast and were assigned watermelon as our dish – easy to buy and bring. One of the other fathers had mentioned to me that they were bringing lox, which struck me as funny because of the sheer New York-ness of it, and then funny because it seems kind of expensive to bring lox for your child, her 24 classmates and their parents. Maybe it was this phew-d0dged-the-bullet-and-get-to-bring-fruit mentality that made me lose my mind in the watermelon store and buy enough watermelon cubes (of course I buy it already cut) for the each of the school’s 1000 children.
The party was in full swing and Jake and I were sharing a black and white cookie (also so New York!) while we waited for our turn to get a plate of food. Jake casually strolled past the food table and came back to me, looking concerned.
Jake: I’m a little worried.
Jake: It seems nobody is enjoying the watermelon.
Me: What do you mean?
Jake: Nobody seems to be eating it. Nobody likes it. There seems to be a lot left.
My heart did that seize thing that it does when we don’t want our kids’ feelings to be hurt. Then I felt bad that I had bought so much. Then I thought, “How did I make him as crazy as I am already? ” And then I felt a surge of pride that my son is as nutty as his mother… I also like to check to see if my salad/dessert/other culinary masterpiece is popular when I’m forced to bring one to a potluck. Isn’t it a little bit normal to want others to like what we brought?
So while Jake settled into a big bowl of fruit loops (bless the teacher who invites her 25 5-year olds to have fruit loops as a school sanctioned start to a day), I did the only thing I could do. I skulked off to hide a few packages of the ignored watermelon in my purse. And then I made myself a big bowl of it, just to make sure it was as delicious as we wanted it to be. By the time I returned to my son, the watermelon was virtually gone and he was in a sugar stupor. Just in time to kiss me good bye.