Got Milk?

I was four years old the first time I drank a glass of milk and liked it.  The next time I liked it, I was 20.  In the interim, I could drink milk with some form of peanut butter, chocolate, bread, etc. but I didn’t really enjoy it.
That first time that milk tasted good I was at my Grandma’s house.  I remember the glass of milk sitting alone on her kitchen counter.  Since I was four,  I must have been told that I could not have anything else to eat or drink until I drank all of my milk.  I know I was alone when I drank it – surely I would not have wanted to be observed humbly bowing to the inevitable.  I was surprised to find that I liked it and recall noticing it was warmer than usual.  Later, I left my milk out to warm up and… yuck!  That certainly wasn’t what had changed the experience.

Tres Leches Cake
Absorbing all of those
high-fat milks!

Sixteen years later, my roommate, Stephanie, and I were babysitting her little niece.  There on the counter was a pan of mint/chocolate brownies – they were delicious, but definitely needed milk.  Stephanie’s sister had only skim milk and I had been raised to say “yuck” every time skim milk was mentioned… but those mint/chocolate brownies were making me desperate.  I drank my first glass of skim milk and… I loved it!  It was so refreshing!
Mark came to our marriage as a 2% drinker – for years we settled on 1%.  Then the children came and we bought them whole milk when they were young, tapering off as they grew.   We used to go through eight gallons a week!

Tres Leches Cake –
A great use for milk.  My
favorite birthday cake and
now Kimberly’s also.

Several years ago I was talking to my mother-in-law about a book that she had read.  It addressed the topic of eating all of our food in whole form – this was the first time I had thought about skim milk as being tampered with.  I am always happy to avoid non-tampered-with-food… but to start drinking whole milk?  (yuck)  A couple months ago David heard a radio program explaining the same concept; he began to ask for whole milk.  Finally, I consented… well, kind of.  I bought 2% milk.
The result?  David is pleased, Mark doesn’t care, I am happy because it helps with my baking, and the girls… they are none too pleased.  In fact, there are stirrings of rebellion each morning when the milk carton is brought to the table.  I will give it time…
Who cares about milk?  Is it about milk?  Milk rebellions have made me wonder…. What if the kids had been raised on whole milk and then I introduced non-fat?  There would be stirrings of rebellion…

African Milk Tart – I tried
this in cupcake size for a
7th grade Africa Day.
The family loved it also.

There are many things that we introduce our children to during their lives that they take into adulthood as the way life should be lived.  Some may be trivial – like which way the toilet paper is supposed to roll (over the top) or whether or not everyone opens a gift on Christmas Eve (we don’t).  Health habits are important (throw out the soda – gross) and we set an example of how to spend our time (turn off the TV – throw out the video games!!).  Then what about raw cookie dough??  We definitely eat it – weighing the risk of a bad egg against this joy of childhood?  Cookie dough wins.  The other day Nathan was texting me about some new books that he wants to read.  He said that he is the only student he knows that has his own little library (not counting textbooks).  This made me happy because I invested many years reading aloud to the family at night.

Lunch – I invented these
yummy little homemade
tortillas with Mexican
crema and sliced mango.
Eaten warm – YUM!

Like all children, mine are growing up and leaving home.  Before I know it, they will be getting married – and they will marry someone who has a whole new set of “traditions-that-define-how-life-should-be-lived.”  Recently, my dad gave me his definition of marriage and it makes me smile (my parents have been married 49 years) – it is “When Worlds Collide”
So, when my children’s nonfat-turned-2%-no video-game-cookie-dough-eating world collides with that of their love.. I wish them well in getting it all worked out and creating their own family traditions.  There are, however, things which are becoming more and more important for their future happiness… things that we have worked hard to purposely instill in our children (to carry into their adult lives) and that they are planning to look for in their future spouse.  These things include family prayer and scripture reading, one night per week devoted to family time, regular church attendance and honor for the Sabbath Day, respect for their bodies, patriotism,  a quest for education, etc…  All of those good things that really matter.  My job will be to drink whatever type of milk they put on the table.

Update – We now have a date for Natalie’s brain surgery – it will be on June 16.  The really good news is that I was able (finally) to enroll her in driver’s ed – we found a class that started next week (after tennis) and ends on the 12th before surgery.  It will be nice to stay busy while anticipating…..

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