The Food Thing

You may have heard that foster kids sometimes have food issues. This is true in our home, especially with our youngest, Z. In the early days, he would store food in his mouth, like a chipmunk. He doesn’t do that anymore, but here we are 7 years later, and in many ways still dealing with “The Food Thing.”

Most days I can take it with a grain of salt. Never in these 7 years have the kids gone without food. But I can understand that for them, you just don’t know. So there are mornings that I’ll wake up and find Z wandering in the kitchen. Or when cleaning his room I’ll find candy wrappers and empty chip bags hidden in a drawer or under his pillow. Ok, that’s typical of a lot of kids, you say. But you probably don’t have this:

“Can I have a snack?” Eat. Walk away. Repeat 40 times a day.

What gets annoying is that around here ya gotta be fast, or you’ll miss out on the good stuff. The other night while having s’more’s on the patio with my sister’s family, I went to the table to make my first one.  “Who ate all the chocolate?”

“I didn’t,” said everyone, while Z disappeared into the house. Then we spent the next 5 minutes counting what we ate on our fingers to figure out how much he ate, which was like 17 snack size Hershey bars. I, unfortunately, had none. That’ll teach me to wait around here when there’s yummy goodness out on the table.

But the culmination happened this week, as I realized we will never be the Latte family who looks all cute and put-together. Upon leaving the grocery store, one of them, (I don’t even remember who, it all happened so fast), insisted they were so hungry they just had to have a banana, right then and there, even though we literally live a one minute car ride from the store.

As we exit the store, I open the bag, and like baby vultures, they each grab a banana. Here I am, 3 kids in tow, standing next to a trash can while one after the other unwraps a banana for dear life and shoves it in their mouth. Z’s mouth is so full his cheeks bulge and white banana is protruding partly out of his lips like a Play Doh press.  As I take in a hover view of all of us, I am aware that we look like a starving family who just got some spare change and the first thing we got were these bananas! Around here that is not such an uncommon sight, so I embrace it and stand patiently until they are done and we can get on with our lives.

Maybe one day my children will realize that there will always be enough food here. Not because we are such great people, but because they have a Heavenly Father who promises He will always provide them food. Until they understand that, we will just keep the food coming, wherever we are. And I’ll learn to eat a little quicker.