A year of learning

I have confessed to my husband and received his forgiveness. If you know us, you know this is not unusual.

Tonight's dinner did not go as expected. (Leave it to my kids to eat a pretty terrible meal anyway praising me for loving them and cooking so they can eat. I sometimes worry about their culinary palate; eating off the floor, out of the dirty kitchen sink and from the garbage. You can judge me now, I deserve it.)

However, because it was far from tasty, that left my husband with nothing to eat. In our house we have primarily moved to all fresh fruit and veggies and ingredients to make food, but not convenient food that is just on hand to snack on. I was on my way to the store anyway to wrap up my out of town grocery list to make my children their meals before I leave on Thursday. Before I left, Paul and I discussed the food in the house and how it is difficult for him because he doesn't want to be a burden on me.

He proceeded to tell me that he feels guilty eating the organic naturally raised beef or chicken knowing how expensive it is and that our kids need it and he doesn't want to take it from them. He NEVER complains about a meal, but I know he doesn't enjoy them all. He always eats what is in front of him because he knows I have spent time researching it, making sure our children can eat it, shopping for it, preparing it, and then I will clean up all the dishes that I used to cook it. He continually supports me focusing on the kids and steps to the sidelines.

This evening though I realized just how much I have stopped thinking about my husband and his needs and wants in regard to food. When I was at the store this evening I realized that I haven't even put him on my radar in almost a year. For almost a year, I haven't thought about that he probably misses some of his favorite snacks and canned food. I made a choice for him by not getting it because I knew what was better for him. And in truth, that is not my choice to make for him.

After I grabbed the last few items I needed to make the meals for the kids for the weekend, I literally had to stop in the middle of the store and think, "What does Paul like to eat?" So I went to the cracker isles. Oh the cracker isle how I have missed you. I picked him up a box of Sundried tomato Wheat thins, one of his favorite with cheese and summer sausage. After that, I went and grabbed a whole stash of his favorite Campbells soup so that he had ready meals whenever he fancied them. On my way to the canned soups, I passed those pre-made pasta side dishes that you throw in a pan for five minutes and its done. He enjoys those and they were 10 for $10.

I had this flashback to my coupon days. To looking at food as a game. How much could I get for as little as possible, with some fresh fruit and veggies thrown in. As I put those 10 packets of Paul's easy side pasta into the cart I was struck with how far my ideas and opinions and knowledge of food has come and how much I left my husbands wishes or desires to the wayside for his better health and that of our kids.

What I realized is that I was choosing for it to be too complicated, (thinking about two very different diets, desire, and wishes for food) and thus never bought him any snacks that he loves or can enjoy. The man works so hard for us and I had taken away all of his joy in food.

So I have confessed that I had forgotten him, that his wishes or wants in regard to food hadn't even crossed my mind. I was so caught up in making food that was what my children needed and wanted that I didn't even think about Paul. But that will all be different now.

Paul and I sat down and made a list of items that he would like to have around the house again. Foods that are easy for him to eat and don't require a lot of attention by me. Even in the midst of forgetting him for a year, his greatest desire is to make it the easiest on me.

I am a lucky gal, the least I can do is buy the man his favorite crackers. It's funny, it doesn't sound that hard, but somehow, I just stopped thinking of him.