Mercy Me, It’s Broccoli

In the ongoing saga of Elvis: To Eat or Not to Eat, the plot recently took a surprising turn. In a world where parents battle preschoolers over eating anything green, where anything labeled “vegetable” is spit out and gagged upon, in a world where kids slip miniature cheese-covered trees down to the dog underneath the table who promptly chews it up and spits it out… in this hair-pulling, fist-pounding, teeth-clenching world, my son shouts, “I LOVE broccoli!”

Broccoli. Really.

Elvis finished eating all of his food first tonight, all the time commenting on how much he loves broccoli. Lydia, the more typical preschooler, suffered through her broccoli and then moved on to the pierogies, slowly but willingly eating her least favorite item on the plate first to get it out of the way. There was much rejoicing.

Yes, yes, my son, I too love broccoli. Verily I say unto you, he that enthusiastically partaketh of the tiny green tree shall reap much reward, in the form of evening movie selection and chocolate ice cream. And sweet daughter, thou art not forsaken; ye, too, by suffering and perseverance shall devoureth the broccoli. Thine inheritance shall be apple crisp and vanilla ice cream. In the words of the author of Proverbs, “May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!” (23:25).

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). My memoir, American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation, and the second volume of devotionals, The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others, will be released in 2022. Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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