Eating Rocks

The consumption of food always seemed to me like a very easy and basic skill.

Apparently this is not the case for one year olds. Zoe shuns anything that is actually edible with unparalleled zest and vigor. She seems only interested in eating things that are decidedly NOT food.

Grass? Check. Sand? Check. Leftover chicken from last night? Ugh Mom, get that crap out of my face before I barf please.

Of course she doesn’t actually speak English yet so I kind of fill in the blanks of what I think she is trying to say based on her HSPM (head shakes per minute).

Zoe really likes to eat rocks. At least, that’s what she thinks every time we go to the park. I used to try and stop her but have since determined this effort to be futile.

Hey Zoe, you know that’s a rock, right? And you know rocks aren’t food, right?

BUT MOM! It looks so TASTY!

*sigh* Okay. Go ahead. Here we go again.

So she puts the stone in her mouth, gets a good taste of the thing, screws up her face and spits it out.

Oh YUCK. Mom it’s a ROCK.

Yep. Yes, I know, sweetie. That is what I have been trying to tell you.

This is what comes to mind every time I make poor decisions in my own life. I’m the kid at the playground, eating the rocks, believing that they will taste better every time. Nope, still rocks. Still crap. There’s a gourmet five-course meal just waiting for me at the table if I’ll just accept it as the gift that it is.

As Zoe’s understanding and experience of the world deepens, she will better understand the consequences of her actions and grow ever more capable of making better choices about what to consume. I, on the other hand, am no longer one year in age. I have the information and memories at my disposal to enjoy my spiritual and emotional feast right now.

It’s so easy to drag my feet when it comes to “doing the right thing” because we have a deeply ingrained belief that the experience will be something akin to chewing glass. The reverse is true.


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