It’s been a busy fall around here – my kiddos started a new school and I started a new job! If you follow me on Twitter you’ve probably heard me talking about saying goodbye to my former colleagues after five years and starting a new adventure. Goodbyes and leaving the familiar routines of our daily lives can be jarring… but overall I believe change can be a great thing.
I’ve been here many times in my life – and it can be a strange place to be – full of emotions (sad and happy) and excitement for the new things, but also draining. Learning massive amounts of information, forming relationships and building new routines take time and a TON of energy. I always notice my kiddos and I are much more tired when we are right in the middle of new – as if new is a place all of its own. We’re simply wiped out at the end of the day and ready for bed much earlier. This is typical and I know it will become more normal in a few weeks and we’ll feel as though we’ve adjusted in a few months.
Last week I went shopping for some new clothes. Check out was a bit of a blur – everything was moving fast and I was trying to get out the door. I had a budget in mind of how much I wanted to spend, and it turned out I was a little bit over that amount.
I decided to put one of the shirts back to stay on budget. The cashier took the shirt off my bill, I paid and headed home. But later that day, unpacking the shopping bags, I found the shirt – the one I didn’t pay for! It must have already been in the bag when I paid and neither one of us took it out. I was shocked.
Of course I had a decision to make. I thought about my choices. Take the shirt back, pay for it, or, what many people would probably do, keep it and not say anything. Inherently I knew what the right thing to do was – be honest and correct the situation. Even if the store would NEVER know… I would know. In my heart and in my head, I wouldn’t be able to forget about it or step foot in that store ever again with a clean conscience. Funny how life gives us these little tests now and then.
Sunday morning, I called the store and told them what happened. I decided to keep the shirt (forget about the budget) and gave them permission to charge my account for the amount of the shirt. And I went on with my day. And that’s where this story gets interesting…
Sometimes friends ask me why I go to farmer’s markets or buy so much of our food from Whole Foods and the “natural” section of the regular grocery stores. Why do I insist on only organic dairy in my house? Why do I treat “High Fructose Corn Syrup” like it’s evil and ban it from my house?
I grew up eating much of my food from boxes and cans – Hamburger Helper and boxed au gratin potatoes are two that quickly come to mind. I was feeding my family that way, too, without giving it a second thought. Until the day my 12 month old daughter had a severe food allergy reaction to eggs. We found out she was allergic to a number of foods and I had to learn how to read ingredient labels to avoid feeding her anything that could make her sick.
And a funny thing happened when I started reading those labels. I realized how much of the food I was feeding my family was… undecipherable. So many labels were full of ingredients a mile long that I couldn’t pronounce.
Here is the “first day of school” picture from last week. I’d like to say they were really this happy and excited to start school – but the fact is they were tired and a bit nervous. I worked pretty hard to get them to smile so sweetly for this shot.
Many of you have been asking how I’m feeling about my little one with food allergies starting school in the fall. Of course it’s a really big deal and I’ve been spending quite a bit of time preparing. I actually started planning last winter by researching schools in my area to find one I felt would be the most safe and inclusive for my daughter’s severe food allergies.
I’ve found that even though the laws are the same from school to school, the policies and practices vary greatly. I was thrilled to find a school near me that will be a great fit for us.