The grass crunched under the picnic blanket as the toddlers settled down to eat. Haley snuggled into my lap, ready for some lunch after a fun morning of playing. The tía passed out bowls of food, and the kids dug in.
The lunch was simple and traditional, but delicious. Rice and beans speckled the bowl, with some cheese off to the side. The usual salad was replaced with a new vegetable: tiny cubes of beets. The juice spread around the bowl, painting the rice a bright magenta.
Haley picked up a piece of cheese, and happily nibbled away. I paused her munching every once in awhile to spoon in a bite of beans and rice. Slowly but surely, the food began to disappear into the princess’s tummy.
Except for the beets.
Haley sampled one piece, then refused to eat any more. I tried to hide them in the rice on her spoon, or cover them with the beans, but she always caught me. She would hold up her hand, inspect the food on the spoon, and pluck off the pink veggies. I could not get a single one past her.
Marlene, the nurse, came up to the group with a warm greeting. She knelt and talked to the kids as they ate, putting smiles on their faces with her playful antics. Turning to Haley, she saw the inspection and rejection process.
“Haley, why aren’t you eating your vegetables?” My lunch buddy just grinned, pulling another one off the spoon. Marlene leaned in close and dropped her voice to a whisper. “You wanna know something cool about beets?”
Haley looked up expectantly.
“If you eat them, they turn your pee pink!”
Laughter welled up inside me. I could not hold it in. One look at Marlene, and we set each other off. Our giggles danced around the children.
We twinkled down at our Haley, and she smiled back—with a mouth full of beets.
Laughter (and the promise of pink pee) had helped the beets go down.
A cheerful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22a NIV
Do you have any “pink pee” secrets for doing life?