My eldest has flown the nest – I feel his absence in the leftovers

My eldest has flown the nest – I feel his absence in the leftovers

With one child now away at university, I’m failing at portion control. But there’s a reason the fridge is full of Tupperware boxes …

If I want to understand the profound change my family has undergone I need only look in the fridge. For in there, piled one atop the other, I will find them: Tupperware boxes, stuffed full of leftovers. Obviously, leftovers in our fridge are nothing new. What’s changed is the volume of them. The fact is our eldest child has left home for university, and while I feel his absence in the lack of discarded clothes on the floor of his room and the silencing of the banter guns, when I get to the stove, I simply forget: I cook as if we were still four not three. I suffer an abject failure of portion control.

The amount we cook is much more than a matter of mere practicalities. It is an expression of self, of history. Doubtless, there are those who will now feel compelled to point out the existence of food banks, and of those just scraping by. This portion-size failure of mine is clearly the worst kind of over-privilege. Well, yes. Of course. But it’s likely that the complainers didn’t grow up with a mother who knew genuine food poverty; a woman who, as an evacuee, recalled stealing swedes from a farmer’s field to supplement her diet. For her, the act of over-catering, was not just a mark of generosity. It was a way of declaring victory over the odds that had been stacked against her.

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One Response to My eldest has flown the nest – I feel his absence in the leftovers

  1. MEAl5 October 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

    Was not just a mark of generosity 🙂

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