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Quote of the Day
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Our Job is to Make Soup
Wednesday is my favorite day of the week, since I get to spend it with ST and not with my other "baby," the dissertation. Today was a rather ordinary day for us, filled with errands to run and small tasks to accomplish.
Our first errand of the day was to go grocery shopping. We only needed a few items, and since we have a cute little grocery store just about a mile from our house, we decided to walk there. ST proudly announced that he'd carry the "little groceries" in his Firefighter Backpack, and so we emptied it out (amazing what things a preschooler finds "necessary" to load in his backpack: Chapstick, four Matchbox cars, a small box of raisins, six pennies, a rock, a wilted dandelion, and an extra pair of underpants) and made our way to the store.
Walking for any distance with ST is always an adventure, since he makes so many discoveries along the way. The highlight of our walk this morning -- during which we stopped no less than 12 times to admire the dandelions, and even pick some -- was finding a dead mouse near someone's driveway. ST was genuinely sad that the rodent's little life was gone. "I hope that mouse did all of his work," ST said, pointing to the poor creature.
I wasn't sure what he meant and so I asked him. This is what amazes me about kids: they remember everything. He proceeded to recount for me an explanation I had given him four weeks earlier about how every animal/insect had a "job" to do in the forest: the worms make dirt, the bees make honey, the birds make music (lame explanation, but whatever), etc. He told me now that it was the vulture's job to eat the mouse. "The vultures clean up messes in the forest, Mom. They eat the dead stuff," he explained.
I was pretty impressed with this lesson, but we moved on. We bought the ingredients for split pea soup so that I could use the ham bone leftover from my spiral-cut Easter ham. When we came home, we made some ham broth together and prepared the split peas, sorting out the discolored peas and the grit. I had forgotten how bad split peas smell after their initial soaking -- revolting, in my opinion. ST was faking a cough and holding his nose from the smell. "Mom, let's stop making this stinky soup," he said.
"But we have to finish it. We started a job, and we always finish what we start," I said in my Platitudes-Aplenty Mom Voice.
ST thought for a moment. "Vultures eat dead stuff in the forest for their job. Our job is to make stinky soup."