It’s 8:00 AM and I’m standing in the freezer aisle at the Wayside Country Store. Hunters have begun filing in, taking their first break of the morning to enjoy some coffee and hot food and hotter deer stories. Me, I’m staring through the glass door of the freezer, misting up as I compare the three different packages of bacon on the lower shelf.
I do this a lot. Something always gets missed on my grocery list, sending me to our local country store, and something about the dusty wide floor boards and the hum of conversation and delicious scents wafting through the air always sends me on a mental meandering. Yesterday, bacon got left off the list.
I buy local as much as possible, and my eyes first fall on the two pound package with the handwritten label and the words, cured and packed in Windsor, Vermont. Then I notice the price tag and take a look a the second package. It’s a much less expensive one pound package from a national brand. The final choice is another, bigger Vermont brand, but still quite a bit more, so I ponder.
The Big Guy being a big guy can lay waste to a package of bacon in no time flat, but in the last year, Thing1 has become a fearsome competitor in the ‘Eating Anything That Isn’t Nailed Down’ division. It shouldn’t surprise me – he’s now at least two inches taller than I am – but I am surprised at how fast it’s happened.
This is one of the moments when life bops me on the back of the head and says, “He’s growing up. It’s happening.”
For most of the last twelve years, we’ve been watching and nurturing the growing, and it’s been the toughest, most wonderful journey of either of our lives. But as he becomes a teenager and begins growing more into the man he’s going to be, I realize that, while the journey will never really end, it’s about to take a very different turn.
I’m feeding two big guys now, and I blink and reach for the bigger, cheaper package.