My daughter came home from pre-school and said; “I have to start eating sandwiches. Big girls eat sandwiches and you have to get used to them.” Over lunch, she’d told her Pre-School Director she didn’t like sandwiches and this was how she had responded.
My husband is a coeliac. We have a largely gluten free diet. So there is a very practical reason why my daughter doesn’t get sandwiches. Very few, if any, gluten free breads make nice sangers. So she gets a bunch of other stuff for lunch, often leftovers, and always nutritious food we know she likes.
When I raised the sandwich topic with the Director the next day however, things didn’t go so well.
I had wanted to clarify that we don’t eat sandwiches because we follow an alternate diet.
She was preoccupied, on the other hand, with telling me they don’t heat lunches.
We were talking completely at odds.
The whole conversation and how it had unfolded – or unravelled – bothered me for hours afterwards.
Then I remembered something a teacher and colleague said to me in a meditation session. Everything is impermanent. When we realise this we can begin to laugh at ourselves and lighten the burden of the situations we encounter in life.
So I found a way to laugh at the absurdity and intensity of the sandwich conversation and remember; lunch is just lunch. It’s my job to offer my child good nutritious food. It’s her choice whether she eats it.
Ironically the festive season can also bring with it a similar absurdity and intensity. Whether that be the mad rush to wrap everything up as the year closes out, dealing with packed calendars or interacting with family, friends and colleagues.
As we embark on the festive season, and when we encounter those absurd and intense moments with each other, perhaps there is some room to find a little lightness and enough space to laugh at ourselves.
Wishing you some lightness and laughter today and right throughout the festive season.