Everyone assumed that our little bean would be tall. Even the pediatrician, at the bean’s two-day-old appointment, asked if we wanted to guess what her height would end up being as an adult. Her dad is 6’6” and her mom is 6’0”, so she was always unlikely to be a shrimp.
But she was pretty tiny for quite some time. A chunker at birth, her weight percentiles kept dropping at her monthly appointments, until she was down to 8th percentile at 6 months old. She remained above average in height, which means she was quite skinny, and her BMI was 1%.
You breastfeeding moms out there will know how disappointing that was for me, how difficult it was not to feel like I was failing my child, how jealous I felt of the moms of chunky babies with leg rolls and triple chins.
But then suddenly the bean’s weight began to turn around. Part of it was that around last Christmas, we started supplementing with formula, but the main change came when she began to eat solid food.
Turns out she LOVED food. Couldn’t get enough of it.
When we tried to teach her sign language, the first word to catch on was "More."
At 12 months, her weight had jumped to the 88th percentile. At her last appointment, it was 95th.
Her height is now 99th.
The child can eat.
Today, at lunch, she had polished off a plate of pasta and red sauce and some carrots, and she whined a little to get my attention. I said, “Bean, are you all done? Or do you want some more?”
She’s 19 months old, but she still prefers to use her sign language. “More,” she signed. “More.”
So I gave her some cheese and some pineapple. More.
So I gave her some grapes. More.
More grapes. More.
So I gave her grapes until she said, “All done.”
Here’s the thing–the second time I got up from the table to get her more food, I had this weird feeling in my stomach, and a thought popped into my head: What if I didn’t have more food?
What if I opened my frig and there weren’t more grapes? Three gallons of milk? Eggs and cheese and leftovers and fresh veggies and fruits? What if I didn’t have a chest freezer in the basement? Canned goods on our shelves?
What if I didn’t have a pantry of staples that, on a whim, I could grab from and easily dump together a huge crockpot of chili for dinner tonight? And I didn’t have the ingredients for that extra buttery cornbread that seems an indulgence during Advent?
What if when my child was hungry, she stayed hungry?
Friends, my family does not live an extravagant life.
We do not live in an extravagant house or drive extravagant cars.
We do not eat extravagant food.
But we eat.
And when we want more, when our baby asks for “more,” there is more to be had.
Be grateful, my friends. Be grateful.
That’s what this season is really all about.