I have been thinking about survival.
When our second baby was born a newborn screen came back wrong. I had to pump and dump my breastmilk for six days. He was fine. The sieve for the screen was too fine or the sample was heated or who knows what happened. But those six days were not fun. I felt confident he was okay but had the fear. Fear our lives might be changed forever and the immediate fear that he would not breastfeed again. Mother to mother I had counseled other breastfeeding moms and had seen scenarios similar to this. My mother told me not to worry. Humans want to survive. We are good at it. She was right. Our baby was fine and he nursed in to toddlerhood.
I read studies about how we as humans have longer life expectancies, better lives because of improved diets. Optimized diets. For years I ran a marathon trying to get an optimal diet with what my mother had said to me playing on a loop, humans want to survive.
I hemmed and hawed over food choices, sent away for the best cod liver oil and liver pills and generally made myself terrified of food. It all started to ease off and I began to look at a more critical eye. Could ‘improved diet’ be three squares plus snacks? Year round fresh fruit and veg? I believe it is possible that our children today waste more food than children two hundred years ago had daily. We live in the time of plenty. There are pesticides and gmo’s, I agree. Let’s not go there.
I say let’s not go there because that’s not why I wrote this. I am writing this to say that I think we are doing a pretty great job. You know, there have been some doughnuts and one or many of my children may wax lyrical to strangers about that candy store her mom and dad take them to but that’s not the full picture. Birthday cake at a party does not a cavity make. Ice cream at the beach won’t give sign grandchildren up for broken bones. There are allergies. Yes. There are sensitivities. Yes. Do what you can. But don’t beat yourself up over a couple of french fries. Guys! You are doing a great job!
A midwife I had once asked me what I was worried about. She said, Do you eat? Yes. Do you eat food? Yes. Then stop worrying. Sometimes the worrying and trying to be perfect is the thing that will get ya. At 13 I became vegetarian and when I told my dad he took a drag on his umpteenth cigarette of the day and said, But you could get hit by a bus.