31 days of gratitude, grumpy edition (day 5)

Today I am grateful for the school lunch Nick asks me to pack.

1. Naked smoothie, flavor Mighty Mango. This and only this passes muster. Anything else comes home untouched.

2. Canned mandarin oranges. Used to be I could at least give him fresh fruit. No. Canned mandarins. Drained. If not drained, not eaten.

3. Sandwich. White bread. Not homemade, not artisan, not whole wheat or multigrain. White. Thin slice. Preferably with preservatives. Colby Jack, 1 slice. Small amount of mayo. 1 slice ham. 4 slices pepperoni. Crust off. Any mistakes? Uneaten.

Every single day, for more than two years now, this is what Nick eats for lunch at school.

I can make his lunch with my eyes closed, with one hand behind my back, drunk, sleepwalking, doing headstands. Not a single thing in it is unprocessed.

I make puff pastry from scratch. He won’t touch it. I make pies, cookies, cakes, crumbles, puddings, and donuts that others rave about. He hates them all.

I make fresh tortillas, pico de Gallo, and guacamole from scratch. He tolerates the tortillas for dinner, as long as he can have processed cheese with them, the gross kind that comes pre-grated in a plastic bag. But no tortillas in his school lunch.

I can make so many delicious foods. All Nick wants is microwave breakfast sausages and pirates booty and goldfish.

I am mortified by Nick’s food choices. Except at 6:30 am on Monday through Friday, when I make his school lunch, and I whisper my thanks to his culinary palette for letting me make a lunch that takes less than 5 minutes and no imagination, and requires nothing fresh.