It will be remembered as the great salad cook-off. A 12 year old boy got up early that day, to chop. To chop vegetables. He and two other friends had decided to have a salad competition at school for lunch. He dug around the vegetable drawer and found mushrooms, mung beans, carrots, capsicum, spinach and perhaps a shriveled head of what I thought might possibly (hopefully) be cauliflower. He chopped.
The salad items and my son went to school. I thought of him at lunch. Eating his mushrooms and dry spinach. He got in the car at the end of the day with a smile. That’s all that really matters don’t you think? For your kid to come home from school with a smile?
“How was your salad?” I asked
“Good” he offered enthusiastically
“How were your friend’s salads?”
“Oh they forgot” he shrugged.
And that was that.
There hasn’t ever been another salad competition. He went back to taking soups and eggs and such things, no more dry spinach has been consumed. The competition came and went as these things do in a 12 year old’s life. It meant quite a lot to him that morning, but nothing today.
Tomorrow he’s planning a hot chocolate stand, dreaming of making millions on a quiet snowy corner of our hibernating town. I’m hoping he makes a buck or two. Next week it’ll all be forgotten and he’ll be dreaming up a new adventure, perhaps spare parts for snowmen….. but I know that for as long as I keep to the side, watch and wait quietly in the wings, this boy and his eager participation in life will take over the world, his world -whichever one he chooses to create.