Journal #4- A Small, Good Thing

*not part of journal *So first off I wanted to say this story made me sad- it was all HAPPY BIRTHDAY YAY then literally a few sentences later the kid was hit by a car.  The driver didn’t stop either and that made me mad but ANYWAY.

When we celebrate occasions, especially happy ones, we celebrate with food.  Cakes and pizza on birthdays, nights out to eat on anniversaries, or even to celebrate a graduation.  Carver demonstrates the typical mother who buys a cake for her child’s birthday.  The mom is excited, but the baker, having made thousands of birthday cakes over his career, doesn’t see this one as anything special.

After the child, Scotty, was hit by a car he was taken to the hospital.  As time passed and his condition wasn’t improving, his parents didn’t eat any food.  They sometimes drank coffee, but even the smell of warm food was repulsive to them.  Since food gives people energy, not eating, along with the emotional toll of a hurting child drained the life right out of them.

When the mother, Ann, sees another family waiting to hear about their child, the author is sure to point out the cups and food wrappers around them.  That’s how Ann knew something was wrong, and began their brief conversation.  Although they had many differences in their physical appearance, they had the tragedy of their injured child on common.

Finally, in the final scene with the baker, Ann had finally had enough of him calling to pick up the cake.  He was just trying to run his business (although not very politely) and has no idea the fate of her son.  Her world has revolved around this event for the past few days, so she doesn’t think about other people’s point of view,and that they have no idea what has happened to her family.  When the baker hears about Scotty, they all sit down and he offers them some warm rolls.  For the first time, they eat.  He tells the parents about his struggles of being lonely and childless, and they see his point of view of the world.  Before, Ann had assumed the baker had children.  It was a bonding experience and it happened over food.

Food is sometimes used as a coping method.  (Sometimes that’s the case of obesity even though that’s outside this topic.) I know when my grandmother passed away, that day we all got together at my grandfather’s house and had food. The same went for after her funeral. Being around family and eating was a way of bonding, not feeling alone, and coping together.  The author puts different perspectives on food (celebration, sadness) and uses that to tell his story.  47ab96047dfd183ddc11621c3584b2e3


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