I spent today with a group of 2nd graders (most of whom seemed to be completely hopped up on sugar). My low-energy was definitely in a very different place. Near the end of the day, one girl gave a boy a mini Twix bar. Another boy followed her incessantly asking her for another one. Incessantly. Like over and over and over and over without end.
Suddenly, the boy who had been given the candy bar realized it was gone (he had, apparently, set it on his desk and someone had taken it from there). As he began looking for it, others joined the search. Until another boy asked another girl what she had and what she was eating. Of course, half the class had to go see, all asking her what she had. When I got to them to find out what was going on, she was saying “I didn’t know” repeatedly while the other students crowded around her. When I asked what was going on, she gave me the wrapper — all covered with melted chocolate. It was clear when she talked that she was still eating the remnants of the candy bar. She said she had found it on the floor (which I don’t really doubt — she’s not the type to actually take it off someone’s desk, but there are some people in the class who would) and just needed to eat it (which I also don’t doubt).
After I’d dealt with the situation, I had time to think about the experience. And though there were many lessons learned in the process, one that really struck me was the power that sweets have over our lives. Why should a little bit of sugar be enough to make a one person harass another in order to get it? Why should a bit of sugar be enough to make someone take something they know isn’t theirs? Why should a bit of sugar sitting on the ground be enough to make an otherwise cooperative and helpful child feel forced to eat it? And why, on Earth, should sugar have such a hold on people so young?
Of course, I know the answers — sugar is a central part of our existence in the U.S. It is everywhere in our diet. It creates in us a need for more. It is a drug that results in addiction of it’s own sort and carries with it all sorts of negative health impacts. It can control us if we let it.
The good news is — we don’t have to. We can decide that we have the control and that we are more important than the shiny wrapper on the floor of an elementary school. We are more.
Breakfast: Greek yogurt with cinnamon, walnuts, and green apple
Lunch: leftover beef and veggie stir- fry (no rice this time)
Snack: [updated] Didn’t need any today either…
Dinner: [updated] Salad with eggs, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and vinaigrette plus marinated roasted mushrooms