Hooray For Honeydew!
It was a while back when this realization came to me...I was preparing a plate of fruit for some friends. When I brought the plate of fruit out one of my friends picked up a piece of honeydew melon and said "Oh, you grew up in one of those homes." You see I had cut the honeydew in slices and then cut little slits all along so you can fan the honeydew out, making it easier and less messy to eat. That way, honeydew juice doesn't get all over your face. IT JUST MAKES GOOD SENSE! True it took me about an hour to cut up a honeydew melon but I really didn't know how to cut it any other way!
YES I guess I did grow up in one of those homes! I had the great fortune of growing up in a safe, nurturing home where if money was ever an issue I surely didn't know about it. My parents were loving and supportive. My dad worked very hard which meant my siblings and I were afforded the luxury of having our mom at home with us. And my Mom was super-mom! (I'm not just saying this because I made her out to be a crazy woman who takes her children to ill-equipped home based dental clinics in my last blog.) Perhaps one of my fondest childhood memories is the amazing meals my mom would make. Not only meals but snacks. Often when we made the long trek down our driveway after riding the bus for an hour we would be welcomed with the smell of fresh buns. There was always an after school snack waiting. To this day when I make the trip up north to visit my parents my mom has something delicious prepared when I walk in the door.
It warms my heart to say that our ABC Head Start classrooms remind me of home. When the children arrive they are often greeted with not only the smiling faces of the staff but also the wonderful smells of the nutrition break they will enjoy. Everything from scrambled eggs and toast, to soups, mini-pizza's, or whatever our creative Educational Assistants dream up. There is always an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables to accompany these scrumptious dishes. And it doesn't stop there! Nutrition break for the children is also about working on their fine motor, pre-math and cognitive skills helping the Educational Assistant prepare the food. It's about learning to share with their friends as they pass the food around the table. There is the opportunity to learn where food comes from, how it gets to our plates. And it's perhaps one of the greatest times for the ABC Head Start Staff to connect with the children and have rich conversations. I am proud to say we are not just filling hungry bellies, we are creating opportunities for learning, and most invaluably fond childhood memories. What a beautiful thing!