Most people love fall. I remember this funny scene from You’ve Got Mail where Tom Hanks writes to Meg Ryan about the joys of fall in New York.
The leaves. The air. The brisk-ness. A bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils.
The anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
All of it is amazing and lovely to watch unfold, and today we are being rewarded for enduring the endless rain of yesterday morning that I had to be out in, shopping and taking kids to the dentist in shifts, always seeming to choose the exact time that the rain would be the heaviest to have to dash to the car.
So, today is the PSAT. Abby and Emma are taking it. Abby for practice and Emma for real. Depending on how she does, her score could mean big money for college, so it is an important day for her and for our family. Especially if someone wins the governor’s race here in Georgia and decides to change the conditions for the HOPE scholarship, phasing it out for families whose income exceeds a certain threshold … but that is a different story.
The kids at the other schools are also in the middle of their standardized testing, Iowa Test of Basic Skills and the CogAT. The ITBS is especially important for Lizzie in fifth grade because her scores play a huge part in determining which classes she gets in middle school, which determines what track she will be on in high school.
But again, another story.
We get phone calls and emails and texts these days as our communication from the school. I love it because I can sign up for the teacher texts, and the schools do callouts and email blasts almost every day. You literally have to purposely ignore or live under a rock to not know what’s going on. Every email and phone call, letter and text encourage parents to make sure their kids go to bed on time, eat a nutritious breakfast with protein (for sustainability) and bring a healthy snack.
All of this seems like a complete no-brainer for me, right? I shop twice a week to help keep us in fresh foods (and it helps with the grocery budget and meal planning), I think about the packaged foods I buy, reading the ingredients, I make their snacks sometimes – especially before swim – making sure to include wholesome ingredients that provide what their bodies and minds need.
Then why in the world then would I EVER have my head turned by a box with a cute little cowboy girl on it, and a picture of white cakes with orange, brown and yellow sprinkles on it? Priced at 3/$5, it’s definitely a steal, even though my head tells me their profit margin is still huge. Surely, left on its own, this box would survive the new millennia, preservatives, white sugar, white flour, and lard pumped in this adorable little twosome of cakes in such vast quantities that there is nothing real in it.
I don’t know.
That’s my answer.
But buy them, I do, because they’re cute. And they remind me of fall. And the kids love it when I give them a treat like this.
Abby was making her lunch this morning (as she does every morning). Raspberries. Carrots. Cheese. Pita chips. Dark chocolate covered almonds for a treat … and a package of white cakes with filling and sprinkles, sealed tightly in plastic.
“Mom, can I take this for lunch?”
Me, knowing exactly what she’s talking about but not wanting to answer. “Um, what? Huh?” Shaking in my boots that I am considering letting them be consumed outside the safety of our house … with the blinds closed … in the middle of the dark … the plastic buried at the bottom of the trash bag so no one will ever know.
“These Little Debbie cakes, can I take one?”
In defeat, “Yes, but you tell your friends that you bought them. Do NOT let them know your mom bought them. Tell them you had to sneak them and that you have scored a HUGE coup over your mother and her draconian food ways. And then smile with satisfaction so as not to leave anyone in doubt that you got away with food murder.”
Emma walks in, smirking as usual and saying in a loud voice, “Her name is Kit Robertson, and her blog address is ….”
“Nooo! I will deny, deny!”
And I will most likely buy the Christmas ones too … they are so pretty!
*shakes head in shame*
(author’s note, Mollie just came downstairs and said, “What are these boxed brownies things?” Me, “Err … uh …” Mollie, “You never buy these things! Can I take one?”