happy plates and kangaroos

My daughter occasionally tells me that she made a happy plate. Which I predict is a phrase she learned at school to encourage them to eat everything that they are given.
Which I'm also guessing is something that doesn't happen very often unless they serve up regular doses of Oreos, chicken nuggets, French fries, and crazy bread. Because that is pretty much what my daughter considers a balanced meal.

My son will eat anything except chocolate. I thought this was due to my fantastic parenting and mature and adventerous palate. Then I had another kid and she blew that theory completely out of the water. Despite the fact that she would be happy to live on a diet of cheetos and fruit snacks, I refuse to really make meals a battle. I'm no short order cook, but if she'd rather eat a corn dog than the pad thai the rest of us are partaking...what is an extra 30 seconds in the microwave. My kids are tiny and I want them to grow, but I know better than to force them to clean their plates. That mentality and the huge portion sizes at Pappasitos are why none of you should want to see me in a bathing suit.

Last week, we skipped church and we took our kids to the zoo. It was a perfect day. Not too hot and the threat of rain kept the big crowds away. We had our run of the place and saw plenty of animals up close. When we got to the Australian exhibit, the zookeeper was out giving a little talk. My kids were right up front and I hung in the back but caught one thing she said.
That kangaroos can't hop backwards. It is impossible for them. Their tail gets in the way. If they want to go back --they have to stop completely. Hop awkwardly around in several little side jumps and then go back. It is a slow awkward process and you rarely see kangaroos do it. They'd much rather just keep going forward. I remember thinking that was profound and that I should come back to that later.

The very next day, I backed my new car into a telephone pole. It was undrivable and I have spent the last few days in a rental.
Because maybe, I am much better at going forwards than backwards.

This week, I figured we better go to Sunday school since we played hooky last week. The actual lesson was taken from an old episode of Mayberry that we watched.  I spent most of the show trying to prove to my husband that Barney Fife was the same guy as Mr. Farley on Three's  Company (a show I'd rather watch over the Andy Griffith show anyday)...that I missed some of the premise. But I know the overall theme was about living in the present. Not getting caught up in the past. And being happy with the things right in front of you.

Moving forwards instead of backwards.
and being content with what we are given.
A lesson, apparently that the kangaroos already have down. Then the teacher said something that made me think of Tess and her happy plate.

"He was happy with the plate that he was given"
Even if it isn't chicken nuggets.
And that is the challenge for us all.


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