Over the past few weeks I’ve been meeting a LOT of parents of kids coming to Ithaca to go to school. It’s always a sweet moment. The family comes to our booth at the Farmer’s Market and exclaims over the bread, and then the parents turn to their child, no longer so much of a child, and ask, “Would you like some bread?”
I find it moving. For the kids, it is a tender reminder of the ways their parents care and nurture them. It’s probably not the “last” meal they’ll have together, but it may be the last of an era. For the parents, it’s an opportunity to send their child off with a tangible symbol of love and enduring support. It’s more immediate, and almost more intimate, than any other gift. Sure, money for books helps, but that bread? It goes right inside.. it becomes the body, the mind, the spirit. It is almost as primordial as those first moments of care in your child’s life. For real.
I love these moments, and I think: Man! If my child were coming to Ithaca to go to school, I would get that kid a breadshare! Now.. of course I would think that. But even if I DIDN’T offer a breadshare, I would STILL think that!
Here’s the thing: when you set your children up with a breadshare, you know that every week they will hold in their hands a loving symbol of the care you would give them if you could. You know that your child is getting some of the best food that money can buy. You know that your child will be thinking of you, and thinking of the community that surrounds them, and feeling the love. And.. and this is no small thing.. you’ll have a topic ready for those weekly phone calls! What did you get at the breadshare?!
For all these reasons, I say, “get that kid some bread!” I know I would do it for my own kids if I could!
Yours in parental joy and obligation,