07 February 2009

Tiny Heartbreaks. Or, Learning from The Offspring

At synagogue today, they had the kids celebrating Tu B'Shevat (the New Year for Trees) by making little ... trees ... out of half a cucumber, lots and lots of toothpicks, and bits of dried fruit and candy. The payoff: the kids were going to get to eat the dried fruit and the candy afterward.

I helped pass around the dried fruit and the candy so I could surreptitiously check the labels, and as suspected, the fruit was preserved with sulfites and the candy had red #40. These set off The Offspring's asthma, so I had to go and quietly tell him he would only be able to eat the cucumber.

"I know," he said quietly.

I promised a treat afterward, and he pulled all the toothpicks out and happily ate the cucumber. After lunch he got trail mix with nuts, raisins, and carob chips, which he enjoyed with gusto.

His resigned acceptance of the situation made my heart ache more, I think, than if he'd cried or whined. Once again, I learned something from him about accepting the things we can't change, and appreciating the things we can have.