My baby is a long limbed 6’4”. I am not sure how much he weighs. Somewhere around 170. Not much. Which in my book makes it 100% acceptable–necessary even–to tell someone on school staff at the university, that his height/weight ratio is nearly on the brink of:
Am I Going to Have to Park a Food Truck on Campus.
You might be thinking, “oh, come on.”
And to that I say, “Listen.”
And then I have to take a pause, because whenever the mother of a boy she has kept alive for 18 years hears “oh, come on” a tsunami follows that takes a minute to drain.
So anyway, “Listen.” And that is another thing I am sick and tired of. People telling me they don’t want to hear the justification. You know what? There is a self serving, disease dripping, drooling, belligerent in Office that more than a few people are reconsidering with no more justification than it takes me to eat cake. It is high time to spell out the justification.
So, “Listen.” When I was growing up, I was allowed to eat just enough food. It wasn’t that my mother didn’t have the money to buy the food, she just didn’t like the idea of spending more than what she thought was necessary. There is that. I am afraid there is not enough to eat unless I know the food is next to me, and I own it. I babysat for a dollar an hour and to eat. “Have whatever you want,” they would say, looking at my bony body thinking it was safe to leave me with the refrigerator.
To go along with that, Ferdinand didn’t eat when he went to school and they blamed.. Do you think they called Jonathan to tell them they were worried that I didn’t pack enough food for my five year old? Of course not. I have told you this story already, but I will remind you. From the First Day, Ferdinand was sent to school with enough in his lunch box to feed the man he is in this minute. It looked like I was sending him to represent me as the cook with the goods for a small wedding. And every single day I unpacked that lunchbox when he got home and threw away everything in it. Box to Bin. The problem was, he didn’t want food that was cold and he thought a thermos would ruin his reputation. From the moment he woke up, I fed him hot food until he left me and the minute we got back in the afternoon, I started cooking. Ms. Can’t-remember-her-name said to me, “all he gets is baguette and a juice box. He says he is a vegan.”
I wasn’t aware that he knew that there was such a word as vegan. I had to go over in my mind what vegan meant. “He is not a vegan. He is not even a vegetarian.”
“Why don’t you try giving him a little more food, something with substance? It is important for growing bones to have protein. You could pack a yogurt or a little fruit cup.” I nodded my head or shook my head, I can’t remember. The weight/height ratio was taped to my pillow and was the pin code for my bank account. Sometimes at a party, I would quiz people if they knew how much their child should weigh according to their height. Trick question. I knew.
The doctor was amazed at how fast Ferdinand was growing, and even though he was never below the 50% mark for weight, he was always above the 95% mark for height. “You know,” she would say, you should feed him. She told me how to fatten up a soup with sour cream. She suggested fatty meat.
So when Ferdinand told me that he didn’t feel right taking more food than what they gave them in the single serving cardboard tray, I started getting nervous. He is in the sticks. There is no deli on the corner. “Mom,” he said, “don’t worry, they have sushi.” You and I both know, serious sushi costs serious money. They are not serving that. I know they are not serving that. “How about if I send you something,” I said. I thought about what he could do with his micro wave and micro fridge. And yes, I did come back to the food truck and I talked to him about it. I asked him how he would feel about it, you know, his mother outside the dorm serving hot food and hot soup and hot cocoa. He thought that was funny.