Two weeks ago Avery went to a sleep over party. 11 boys, camping out in the back yard, trampoline, Wii Rockband, bon fire, movie on the side of the house, bowling...pure 9 year old boy bliss. When he arrived home the next afternoon I inquired about his night and the first thing that sprang from his lips was, "we got to drink soda!".
Soda? THAT is the excitement? Soda? His eyes were lit up like sparklers on the forth of July.
The following week, Avery asked me when he'd be old enough to drink soda. This question broke my heart.
I have never allowed the kids to drink soda. Diet, caffeine free, whatever - I haven't let them have any of it. (The only exception being the occasional Root beer float, which makes their eyeballs roll back into their heads in sheer pleasure). Call me a bad mother but they primarily drink water. They also drink Vitamin water, milk (plain or flavored), and occasionally capri sun waters.
To me, soda is the work of the devil (not really, relax). It's just nasty stuff. Furthermore, I'm addicted to it. I'm a card-carrying member of FA (Frecsaholics Anonymous). Soda is bad. There's nothing good about it. So, why would I want my kids to have it? It would be like a crack-head giving their kids crack. For nine long years I've tried to protect them from it's evil, carbonated grasp.
Last week while I was at the grocery store, I picked up a 6-pack of mini-Sprite cans and thought that I'd surprise the kids with a soda some day. (I'm awesome, I know.) My dreams of hiding the Sprite in a high cabinet in the kitchen (maybe even the one above the refrigerator) and heroically whipping it out to brighten up the kids one day, was shattered as Avery shrieked "SPRITE!" from the driveway. He had indeed sniffed the substance through the aluminum can, through the plastic grocery bag (sorry Audra), and through the metal of my mini-van trunk.
"When can we have one?" they gleefully chanted.
I explained to them that the reason they can't have soda is because we're Christians and Christians aren't allowed to do anything fun or bad. Just kidding. I told them that I never let them have soda because it isn't healthy and no matter how old they are, I'll never want them to have things that are unhealthy. Having soda isn't about age (or religion), it's about good health.
I've seriously never seen them happier than they were for the next hour that it took them to nurse those 8 ounces of Sprite. They were even happy to recycle the cans without my prompting. For them, everything about soda drinking was worth savoring.