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How things change, from age 8 to age 18

Sometimes in my lectures, I encourage the moms of young children to make the change NOW while they’re still “in control” of so many things in the home, including diet. Making the change later is harder. NOT IMPOSSIBLE. Just harder. When your son is 8, you can educate him. When he’s 18, he no longer thinks you’re a goddess. It’s harder to convince him.

My 18 yo son, when his dad abandoned the habits Cade had been raised with, kind of gravitated to that. To the appeal of the Standard American Diet that they eat over there. He was never a “picky” kid, pretty compliant….but late in high school, he definitely has had that tendency to do whatever is mainstream.

Unlike his sister, who invited the vegetarian kids from her high school over, this week, to make Vegetarian Kids t-shirts and give her friends a tour of my fridges-full-of-weirdness.

They spray-painted “Meat Sucks” on their shirts. It’s not a slogan I would have chosen. It’s a bit vulgar and not likely to convert anyone. (Emma’s father “freaked out” when she joined PETA Juniors and called that organization “terrorists.” His objection, of course, made her join it with that much more enthusiasm.) But “Meat Sucks” also seems to malign the poor animal who was already rather put-upon, caged in a tiny stall, injected with who-knows-what-all, and slaughtered. No one asked my opinion, though.

Cade finally got his driver’s license and my rule is, when you’re at your dad’s house, you drive his car, and at my house you drive mine. Problem is, his dad isn’t really cooperating with that. He’s not yielding his spare to Cade.

So of course Cade has been calling, asking for mine, while at his dad’s.

My brilliant idea has been, “You can have the car if you come drink a giant glass of carrot/celery/beet juice before you go.”

He’s more than willing. Small price to pay. The second night in a row, when that happened, he texted, “Okay, but a smaller glass this time!” And I wrote back, “No, haha, just for that, a BIGGER one!”

Though he went for it, the juice-drinking event was not without drama. A small gang of high-school senior friends watched him do it, and declined to help him drink it. He texted me later,

“That was so healthy it actually made me nauseous.”

 I told you I put vinyl lettering in the back window my kids’ car that says, “If you hate my driving, text my mom,” with my phone number?

Emma still has a learner’s permit. The first day I was out driving with her, after putting that in the window, I got this text from a stranger:

“Your daughter’s driving is horrible. She’s hot, though, and that’s all that counts.”

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