When our son was born, I was determined to be what was then called an earth mother. I nursed him. I purchased only organic soaps and lotions. I had my husband plant rhubarb and vegetables behind the garage and then coaxed (coerced, guilted – same thing) him into tending the garden. Our yard came with mature apple and pear trees and a grape arbor. I learned to preserve fruit. I asked the county to stop spraying for mosquitoes at our house. I made baby food from our suburban half-acre. I harvested. I steamed. I mashed. Then we went east to visit my parents.
I couldn’t take all the food, the diapers, the clothes, the car seat, the carriage and, of course, the baby, on the plane with me. My parents went to the grocery store and bought baby food in those familiar, squat glass jars. I was sure my discerning son would know the difference. He didn’t.
He ate whatever my mother put in front of him. He didn’t care that it came from an industrial kitchen. He was a delightful companion at every meal, even though all I did was spoon up his food. Lesson learned. It was late autumn when we returned home and I resolved not to do any winter farming. My earth mothering was done.
Today, our kids employ all kinds of gadgets to make home cooking for their infants and toddlers easier. And, yet, they still offer their kids French fries and pizza crusts. Good for them. All kinds of food is delicious as long as it’s given with love.