Monday, September 26, 2011

The snack factor

As I watched my daughter make a great shot on the volleyball court, one thought ran through my mind, "Oh, no! I think it's my turn to bring snack!"

Who among us has not experienced that fear? And how is it that forgetting to bring cheese-its and juice boxes can cause such panic?

A friend of mine said her daughter called her from school recently. She became very concerned because her daughter's normally booming voice was barely decipherable.

"Mom, today wasn't our turn to provide the meal before the game, was it?" she whispered into the phone. It wasn't, but, apparently, some poor mom had forgotten, and 20 hungry girls were about to revolt.

I'm not sure how this trend of providing snacks for not only games but practices came to be. When I grew up, we didn't even have snacks at home, except perhaps the occasional popsicle. And those were made with Kool-Aid, toothpicks and an ice cube tray.

There were no prepackaged, individual cookies or crackers. No bottles of water or Gatorade. We had Tang and later Hawaiian Punch, and we didn't share with our playmates, much less the whole ball team.

Yet, today, almost every event calls for a snack. I recently watched little church league cheerleaders stand up, do one cheer, and then sit down and have a snack. Sometimes I think it defeats the exercise factor.

It seems to be an evolving phenomenon. When my oldest was young, orange slices were all that was required. She never ate them at home but was served them during halftime at the soccer game and she loved them. As time progressed, however, so did her and her teammates' taste in snacks. Soon, only Chick-fil-a sandwiches or Dominos pizza would do.

There's no denying that the sudden realization that you've forgotten snacks is one of the worst feelings in the world. It's also expensive. There've been many a time that I've had to run to the nearest convenience store or concession stand to buy 20 pieces of candy and bottles of Gatorade. Not providing it is like not providing a goody bag after a birthday party. (Who started that trend anyway?)

During my most recent bout of snack amnesia, my daughter texted my husband, who came to the rescue, showing up in the nick of time with crackers, cookies and a cooler full of ice cold Coca-Colas.

After the game, the girls turned up their cans of Coke like Mean Joe Green in the classic commercial, except this time I was the one who smiled. We weren't parental failures, after all. We hadn't let our daughter or her team down, and, best of all, we could enjoy the rest of the season and not break into cold sweats the next time we overheard one of the girls say, "I'm hungry. Who brought snacks?"

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