Tuesday, September 25, 2012

macaroni necklaces and other things i avoid

       it has been so long since i've blogged, that i couldn't figure out how to write a new post.  blogger has changed its format and i was a bit lost.  i decided to post today, because of something i've been seeing on pinterest and in real life.
       with fall upon us and school back in session, mamas and teachers are looking for crafts to do with their kids.  pinterest boards are replete with cute ideas and eye-catching photographs, but i will never be the one to facilitate an art project that uses food as a medium.
these colors and shapes look so fun, but i cannot ignore the fact that it's food.  it's a precious commodity that way too many people in this world are lacking and i won't take it for granted by stringing it around my child's neck.
sometimes our children make these crafts to give as gifts.  i love the idea of giving gifts.  i love teaching giving to my child.  however, unless the food is actually for eating, we will have to find another project.

because we have grown up in abundance, this idea is rarely considered.  it's so common to string noodles and glue beans to paper, that we don't think twice.  but one day, not too long ago, i supervised such an art project (facilitated by others) and was asked by a woman in the room who struggled to put food before her family every night, "but can't you eat that?"  

oh the shame.

she was looking to me for an answer to this puzzle.  why would anyone give children food to make a necklace with?  especially when . . . it's food!

i didn't know what to say.  there was no response that would have been sufficient.  she saw plainly what i (what we) had missed: we were taking for granted that food comes to us in abundance.  because her experience was different.

she had never had so much food that she decided to decorate with it, and i have to say that she opened my eyes.  how insensitive of me.  i was so ashamed.

please understand, i am aware that by abstaining from making crafts out of food i am not saving anyone from hunger, malnutrition, or starvation.  i get that.  i am simply saying that i will not take food for granted as i did before.  and i will try to show respect for those who have less than i do, in this small way.

and while i'm at it, i can pray for others and send what i can to help.