Monday, January 2, 2012

The Magic Jelly Bean

Grocery shopping.

It's a weekly task around here.  Usually, I try to get it done while the kids are in school but sometimes, that sweet spot in the calendar is unavailable either due to holidays or insanely busy schedules.  After a two- week Christmas vacation, I knew that the time had come for another major grocery gathering.  The fruits, vegetables and bread had pretty much disappeared and we were at the brink of collapse from not having any more milk in refrigerator. 

"What????  Moooooommmmmy!  Where is the milk?"

"Honey?  No milk?  What are we going to drink?"

"I want milk!"


(That last bit of conversation did not happen, but I couldn't help myself!)

When it was time to leave to head to the store, my youngest daughter was already waiting with coat and purse on with a big smile.  We call her our little bean and she is rather adorable! I also love that our little bean wants to go with me.  Instantly, it puts a smile on my face too!

At the store, she is my best helper.  She grabs the milk - thank goodness because we were on the brink! and puts it into the cart.  Then she runs off to gather all of the other things that are on our list.  Rarely does she ever ask for anything.  The biggest part of conversation involves reviewing two things... price and brand. 

"Yes, that peanut butter.  We want that one because that is the kind we all like and wait... get two of the smaller ones because they are actually cheaper than the big size." 

I swear!  True conversation.  It actually was cheaper to buy the smaller jars!  Weirdness.  But I digress....

There is one more thing that we discuss that I know most other people in the aisles are not concerned with and that is carbohydrates.

Yes, we pump insulin but we still look at the amount of carbohydrates that are in the foods that we are feeding our family.  As most of you know a simple thing like Italian salad dressing can vary in amounts of 0 carbs to 14 carbs in one serving. 

A discussion like that usually sounds like this;

"Yes, that one.  But get the regular kind.  No, not the fat free or sugar free.  It has more carbs.  How many carbs?  Look.  What?  Oh yes, that is good.  That has 0 carbs?  Get that one!"

Over the years, we have had people look at us and roll their eyes.  I had one person tell me that low fat was always better than low carbs.  Another person told me that I didn't need to worry about carbs at all.  A few have smiled and chuckled too

Somehow, having a conversation about something like a nutrition label between your child and yourself becomes an unsolicited invitation to all sorts of people.  Strangers feel entitled to opinions and when the word "carbohydrates" is overheard, strong reactions follow.  We've (I've) gotten used to it and now I just smile back and nod my head.  I can't change their ideas and frankly, I really do not want too.  And it is not worth the energy to explain that we look at carbohydrates so that we can accurately dose appropriate amounts of insulin into our children multiple times each day.  Whew!  That is a mouthful!

All I know is that with so many misleading articles, interviews and television shows spotlighting the diabetes epidemic, to the outside world, we are a paradox.  How can my skinny kid have a weight problem and be dealing with obesity driven "diabetes"? 

Obviously we are not.  I could take the time to try to educate (and I used to try) the people that comment to us but in the long run, they aren't going to listen to me.  They are going to listen to Dr. Phil, Jillian Michaels or some other well healed fitness guru.  My time is better spent on educating my own child on how to select foods that taste good and are good for her.   I refuse to start having our nutrition conversations in private.  Yes, that is the rebel in me!

But after yet again, another eye-rolling encounter, I am feeling feisty.  When I see my darling grocery getter starting at a display of Jelly Belly candies, I immediately encourage her to pick out some to take home.

"Really?"  Her eyes are as big as saucers and I can see the amazement of taking home some of the rainbow candies.  Slowly, she takes a plastic bag and starts filling it.  But to my amazement, she starts filling it with one bean at a time. 

One bean at a time.  Truly.  She carefully reads the label of the plastic dispenser to make sure that it is the flavor she wants and then after an inspection, she puts it into the plastic bag.  One bean at a time.

It took a few minutes for her to complete her choices and when she was done, about thirty Jelly Belly Beans made it into the bag.  Never have I witnessed such a spectacular smile from such a simple moment.  She clutched her bag all the way to the checkout lane and then patiently waited for it to be bagged with the other groceries. 

As we walked out to the car, she asked me if she could eat one and I laughed and said, "Sure! You can eat more than one though.  How many do you want?"  She said, "Just one.  I want to save the rest for Daddy and oldest daughter and you too."

Here is the magical part of this story. 

She doesn't view going to the grocery store as a chore or as a waste of valuable time.  She doesn't care that she has to choose items and put them into the cart, the conveyor belt, the car and then finally our home.  She doesn't care about about value or carbohydrates or anything of the like.  She certainly doesn't care what her fellow shoppers think about her selections or how long it took her to find the right one.

All she is thinking about is finding the perfect bean to savor and appreciate on this wonderful adventure.

Maybe I should too.

Just one.  One perfect little bean.  Oh, and the Jelly Belly is pretty perfect too!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is David Klein..I LOVED this article. In 1976 I had 800.00 to my name and a desire to create a gourmet jelly bean. Jelly Belly jelly beans was the end result. I was Mr. Jelly Belly until 1980 when our trademark was purchased. If you love candy like it sounds please watch Candyman:the David Klein Story which is now streaming on Netflix. By the way we have just introduced our own line of super premium jelly beans. These are called David's Signature and they are BEYOND GOURMET....Thanks for a GREAT article.. BE WELL david klein