Monday, May 21, 2012

Pre-Packed Thoughts

Lately we've been eating the salad leaves from our suburban garden. What a feeling to go out back in the morning, cut some salad leaves and bring them to work!

Almost everyday I'll go in my polytunnel and look at the little plants and the miracle of life happening slowly but steadily in there... 
In particular, we have a Borlotti Bean plant, who had two accidents so far: when still in the small pot inside the house, my son by accident "sat" on it. The plant was folded in two... I managed to help it up again with some Sellotape and a wooden stick. A few days later, when it was recovering from the first hit, a friend's child broke the upper part... Again, Sellotape came to the rescue... I looked at my plant a bit sad and made sure the child didn't feel bad about it. Well, I have to say it is the first bean plant to grow flowers!!! I have been rewarded already, even if those flowers for one reason or the other will not turn into beans :)

I've been thinking a lot about pre-packed things lately. Mostly because we'll celebrate my son's 5th Birthday on Sunday. Awesome! He's 5 already. I can hardly believe it. 

The Birthdays we've been so far, except for two of them, were held in these covered play grounds where there are slides and ball pools. You pay a fee per child, the children get two hours of play (among crowds of other children) then everyone from the party is gathered into a room, the food for the kids is served, the cake is cut, the goodie bags are handed out and you go home. Yes, the kids have great fun. Yes, my son the last time did not stop running and playing for two hours. But...

I hate it. I hate those places. I just have to say it. The Invitation cards are all the same, you just fill in date and time. The cakes are usually bought in the stores by the parents. There is no food for the parents. So you're stuck there with a disgusting coffee for two hours watching your kid going up and down an artificial playground which is usually kept quite cold. I thought the other day: When even a child's Birthday comes pre-packed in a sterile, assembly line-like place, you realize humanity IS doomed.

Maybe it's me. I'm too radical. Maybe. I'm an extremist. Maybe. But...

But the joy I saw in my son's eyes the other day while cutting the red paper to make his invitations... The spark in his eyes when he suggested how to make them look better... It was great. It was worth all the effort. 

His Birthday will be on an Angry Birds theme. He was very interested in the whole preparation of the goodie bags and such... I'll be cooking my butt off, and we'll spend a wonderful afternoon together, everyone will be eating and drinking juice or beer or wine and the house will fill with the kids running up and down and their laughter and I'll be the happiest person in the whole world. 

It's disgraceful that people won't even take the time anymore to prepare a cake for their own children's birthdays... I am making everything myself every year and I love it... Every year the menu is different, every year I'll find a different cake to make. I don't like baking cakes, it's something that never turns out quite the way I expect it. But the joy it brings to place those candles on it :)

I always cook from scratch. I make my own washing powder. I refuse to use bleach in the house. After work I dig in the garden in the effort to make it produce food. We eliminated TV when our son was born. We don't buy ready made food EVER. We shop as little as possible. We don't buy things we don't need. We drive the smallest possible cars as little as possible.

And I often think all we do is for nothing... All our efforts, all our hard work to make this Earth a better place is wasted because one single person will never make the difference...
But... But then I look in my son's eyes and see them lit up when he talks about his plants in the garden, and his crazy love for slugs, worms and centipedes and I see hope and that not all we do is for nothing, all we do is actually for him :)
Peas Blooming

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