Monday, December 22, 2014

Orange Jell-O

Three days before Christmas, and here I am with my teenager as he recovers from having a wisdom tooth removed.

Yep.  A single wisdom tooth.  We both know it could be so much worse, but given that the teenager still has a mouth full of corrective metal (otherwise known as "orthodontia"), the surgeon suggested only removing the one tooth that could be counter-productive to the straightening process.

So we've been preparing for today.  Planning the soft foods that he may want to eat when he's ready to attempt eating again.  Soup, applesauce, pudding, milkshakes, Jell-O...

But for whatever reason, my kids have never taken to Jell-O.  It was the "go-to" food when I was sick as a kid, and it didn't matter what illness I was suffering from, gelatin was the cure.  The flu meant you got orange Jell-O  - because the red was just {ugh} when it came back up.  But if I was ailing with a non-regurgitating variety - like perhaps, a sore throat? Or one of the many Oscar-award winning performances I gave on what was surely my death bed?  That's when the cherry Jell-O came out.  Naturally, I've always tried to pass that goodness along to my children.  And they just don't get it.

At least I didn't think they did.

A few days prior to this surgery, I mentioned Jell-O to the teenager, and he was excited that the fruity jiggling fun was in his immediate future!  He even requested that his treat be orange flavored, and even though he was going against non-regurgitating sickness protocol by requesting orange flavored Jell-O when there wasn't even a chance of it making it's way back up, I happily added his request to my grocery list.

Something you should know - as a busy, over-involved mom, I've come to realize the importance of the shortcut and I think that the invention of the pudding cup may just be about the greatest thing ever - especially when there's a chocolate craving to be satisfied.  Not to be outdone by the pudding cup, however, there is also the Jell-O cup.  Ready made and ready to dip into.

There I was, strolling through the grocery store - with the teenager's orange request on my list, that I came across the Jell-O cups and went to grab a 4 pack off of the shelf.  I very nearly picked it right up and merely tossed it into my shopping cart without another thought.

Orange Jell-O - checked off the grocery list.


EXCEPT...

I couldn't do it.

As my hand reached forward, I thought about why I was buying Jell-O in the first place. Who I was buying the Jell-O for?

Ahhh yes.  My first-born and his unending oral care.

Then, just for a brief moment, my mind instantly raced back to all of the times that my own mother had made me Jell-O when I wasn't feeling my best.  How many boxes and packets of flavored dust did she tear open and stir into the pot of boiling water for the two minutes time it would take to dissolve?   How many times did I shuffle out to the kitchen and open the refrigerator door to see the little bowl shimmering and wiggling already prepared for me (This was before the day of the Jell-O cup convenience).

I don't know what it was, but at that moment I thought to myself that surely I can take the 2 minutes to stand at my stove and stir in the packet of flavored dust.  Surely, when my son will be feeling what is possibly the worst he's ever felt in the 14 years he's been on this earth, I can do something.  Mother-to-son.  A small act that shows him, yes, he's worth a package of Jell-O and 2 minutes of my time.

Because he's worth the world to me.

~ C.


No comments: