I hate broccoli.  I can’t get away from it.  It must be the most loved vegetable in the country, and probably the healthiest.  It was even served at my wedding. I didn’t eat it because I don’t think you should have to eat yucky vegetables at your own wedding, or any one elses wedding for that matter.  As a matter of fact I don’t really like to eat any food that I don’t like, and since I do the cooking in my house, it is rare that we have yucky broccoli.

My children hate broccoli.  My children hate lots of vegetables, but definately broccoli is on the top of the list of yuckiest foods. (My youngest loves it, but he’s a bit odd.) I have influenced my kids to hate this innocent vegatable that they will undoubtedly need to eat out of poilteness many times in their lives. I have done them a disservice by not exposing them to things that they will experience as adults.  They will only be children for a small part of their entire lives, and so much of their oppinions and experiences will be formed during this time, perhaps not set in stone, but formed nonetheless.

Tonight we ate broccoli for dinner.  It wasn’t bad in a stir fry, with lots of other things. Everyone ate it, no one died, though I was concerned I might be sick.  We’re going to eat more broccoli, because if during the short time God has entrusted me with these children I can expose them to things that they don’t like enough, I can help them to grow to like them.  I don’t do it to be mean.  I do it because I don’t want them handicapped in their adult lives. Maybe handicapped is a strong word to go along with a dislike of a vegetable, but it is all the things that as parents we unintentionally pass on to our children, like our fears, our prejudices, our oppinions, that just might stick with them even when we try to tell them that we don’t want them to stick.

 I understand my parents now so much better when I make decisions for my children.  Perhaps I will learn to not hate broccoli in the process. Perhaps as I over come my own dislike of different things, fear of things (like public transportation) and limited experiences, I will provide for them something far better then money could by. Perhaps they will look back on my decision to force us all to eat broccoli as something good that happened in their lives, perhaps they will love their kids enough to make them eat broccoli too. Maybe it won’t be as fun as a new toy for Christmas, but hopefully it will be far more valueable.


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