This morning, Julia spent 20 minutes before breakfast writing me “notes” on star-shaped Post-its. “What do these say, Julia?” (I can still ask questions like that without her getting upset that I can’t read her writing. She’s almost 4. It’s coming.)
“Well, I want you to eat healthy, so it says, ‘You should eat healthy things like vegetables that are good for your tummy.’ ”
“What about this one?” I hold up another star. The writing is blue, and I can see a J, some circles.
“That one says, “Eat fruit because it’s healthy. And candy.” She’s smiling huge now.
We’ve been talking a lot about eating healthy this month. Julia wonders why I don’t have a sandwich at lunch or why I won’t share a cookie with her. And last night when we had family pizza night, she clearly noticed my salad-filled plate. She’s stepped into the role mommy lately. She grabs Max’s hand to help him through the parking lot at school, and her baby dolls are tucked in each night. Her teachers tell me she uses the toy doctor’s kit to give her friends checkups. She loves taking care, but I never thought that Julia would be the one to hold me accountable.
I am though, totally accountable for healthy eating. She gently puts her hand on my forearm or asks me what I’m doing when I try to sneak a spoon full of peanut butter. And she is even catching on to my wheat-less ways. It’s that’s a good thing.
As her mother, I’m her teacher and role model. I get it. And I see it all the time in the way she stands, the words she says. And I see it in moments like these. I’m happily held accountable and happily healthy as a result. Thanks, Julia.