I get home and the first thing I do is drop everything and take a shower. That shower, I’m being dead serious, was the best shower I have EVER taken in my entire life. It was so easy to find the perfect temperature, the pressure was just hard enough to lightly massage my muscles, and the width of the spray was just right so that if the center was on my neck my entire body was warm. Legit, The. Best. Shower. Ever.
Anyways, after I showered, I come into the kitchen and my mom has bought the huge family box of chicken from Bojangles. After an hour of trying to explain to her and her friend that came down for the weekend what this SNAP challenge is all about and repeating that I only had about 30 dollars to spend on food for the week and that no I shouldn’t have other people pay for my meal, my mom declared that this was nonsense and that I was eating chicken tonight.
This utterly shocked me.
On Tuesday, in class, some students were saying that their parents were not necessarily supportive of the challenge. I sat there thinking to myself “I’m so lucky to have my mom. She’s going to say ‘good! its about time you learn money management.’ or something along those lines.” But no, my mom was just like most of the other parents… Looking back, and I think that someone else mentioned it in class, but I think the natural instinct to nurture your child is stronger than I previously thought. The woman I call mom is actually not related to me but this does not stifle her fierce motherly instincts to protect and nurture me. I knew this prior to this challenge but she had also been very supportive of independence, and having a disability independence was almost more important to stress because she nor I want to have others coddling me once I was out of my parent’s care. Now my ‘disability’ is not rehabilitating or really disabling in drastic ways. For me, I simply take a little bit longer or a little bit different strategy to do the same things anyone else would do. I am also anemic but I don’t take the medicine I should to balance that out… Which has been apparent with me not eating as much while doing this challenge.
Needless to say I ate the chicken… but even then I only had a biscuit and three chicken strips. I found that even this, which is definitely less than a meal that I typically would have eaten, filled me up more than I had been all week. This made me think of the idea that when there is a chance to eat as much as you want those that are used to smaller portions will not require much more than the portion that they are used to in order to achieve satisfaction that others would get with a larger portion. This made me think of empathy because I wouldn’t have understood this without the experience that the SNAP challenge has given me.
Tomorrow is the last day.
Till then – JBE