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When I was a young girl, my parents, four siblings, and I lived in a trailer. Upon entering the shotgun kitchen, you are met with a long, wooden table taking up 60% of the room where we would eat as a family.
We would get our dinner served on vintage, 1997 McDonald’s Hercules plates (I’m sure my Mom still has one or two) and if we were lucky, there might be something sweet to follow once they were clear.
A fruity Trix yogurt?
Maybe a little plastic cup of chocolate and vanilla ice cream?
Whatever it was, I always asked for the smallest spoon in the drawer.
I wanted the least, possible amount of what we were given to fit in the basin of my spoon with each scrape off the top.
I recognize that what I was given was not something that I needed from my mother; it was a treat, a gift. I was appreciative of what she offered and I wanted to make sure I treated it like it was something worth cherishing.
One night, my Pop Pop Larry sat beside me at our dinner table after my siblings swallowed their desserts and ran off to play; ice cream hardening to the baby hairs around their lips. He watched as I used my tiny, Gerber safety spoon to eat my dessert and asked:
Why do you use such a small spoon? You could fit a bit more in each bite if you grab a spoon like your brother’s.
I looked at him, holding my spoon like a friend’s hand, and said:
It lasts longer when I eat it like this.
While true, my Grandfather remained confused why a child would want ice cream anywhere but in their bloated belly. I understood his puzzled questioning but, for me, it always seemed more of a lifestyle choice than an eating irregularity.
As I age, I am met with an increased awareness of my previously subconscious, childhood tendency. Two decades have since passed and I am still “Using the Smallest Spoon” in more places than just pudding cups, most frequently in my closest social circles.
Our friends, family, and role models are such a daily treat, emotionally and mentally. We are blessed with so many of these productive and uplifting relationships and it must be known that they are cultivated on a consistent basis and deserve our appreciation.
Make Sure That Whether You Are:
- Requesting guidance in their strong suits (that they undoubtedly spent money, motivation, and/or time strengthening)
- Expressing emotional dependencies met by a friend’s wisdom. OR
- Ranting on accounts that will not grow either you or your listener
Do it in tiny spoonfuls. Your friends and family want to see you grow and you want to help them grow as well, I’m sure. But if you try for too big of a spoonful at once, without first appreciating, trading, and acknowledging their needs too, you may finish the treat / the gift / the relationship before you were ready.
Vice versa, you cannot drink from an empty cup. Keep yours half full by having boundaries on how big a spoon you hand to your friends and family. Because in order to love others, you must first love (and respect) yourself.