"What if I started running all the time and got really skinny Micah? What would you think about that?"
He looks up at me, very serious. His cheek is still resting on my belly as he ponders this.
Then, with all the passion of Micah: "Eat! Eat! Eat!"
* * *
I'm tidying the kitchen, wiping counters, loading the dish washer. The kids are at the table in the dining room.
"Trixie?" says Micah. "What's your favorite thing about this family?"
She has a fork-full of of cheddar-sausage quiche in one hand, a hunk of baguette in the other. "The food," she says, between bites.
"Yeah, me too."
* * *Dinner the next night. Gratin with potatoes, cheese and pork sausage. For some reason we have two dozen eggs in the fridge, and Julie is coming home with at least another dozen in the winter farm share tonight. So I'm using up eggs like crazy.
Micah doesn't like the gratin, because he doesn't like potatoes, so he's eating another piece of quiche.
"Nial and Zach and I are the only ones in my class who eat healthy food," he says.
"Is that so?" This is an interesting development. Until very recently, he's been mostly horrified by his homemade lunches. "The kids will laugh at me," he would moan, "if I bring that to school." But when I relent, and buy him some awful yogurt in a squeeze tube or something, he doesn't actually eat it. It's just about street cred.
When Trixie was Micah's age, she began a boycott of MacDonalds after I told her about industrial beef production. It was an ethical boycott, though she didn't really like the food much either. A couple of times on our road trip last summer we stopped at MacDonalds in desperation, and because Micah begged, but eventually even Micah declared he wouldn't eat there anymore. "I just like the toys in the Happy Meals. But that's not real food."
Apparently he has embraced being the kid with the healthy lunch. "I'm teaching my friend Nassir to eat more healthy though."
"That's great Micah. Has your teacher been talking to your class about eating healthy?"
"No, I just decided to teach Nassir."
"What did you tell him about eating healthy?"
"Like, he should eat his sandwich before his chips and snacks. And his fruit, he should eat fruit. Like that."
"That's great advice, Micah," I say. "Maybe you should take your own advice, though."
He looks at me.
"You didn't eat your sandwich today. And only part of your fruit."
He looks away, shrugs, the sly smile. He is his own boy. He will be a good man.