poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

Sweet Son Eating Sauerkraut!

Growing up in Pennsylvania in a part German family, I have always eaten pork & sauerkraut on New Year’s Day1. I don’t remember when I started to like the sauerkraut end of it, but I remember having to eat “just a bite” to ensure good luck for the new year. It was never open for discussion. Not eating the stuff was enough to obligate the shameful German-Catholic to go to Confession. Really.

Fast forward to 2004, the first New Year’s Day after my husband and I were married. Since he didn’t have any family New Year traditions, I figured the door was wide open for me to carry on mine. I prepared the pork roast to perfection, and served it with sauerkraut. I knew he didn’t like sauerkraut, but I wasn’t going to have that stand in the way of a lucky new year2. So I encouraged him to just eat a tiny bite. He didn’t want to, but I basically begged him to humor me. He took the bite… and dashed to the bathroom to throw up. Personally, I thought he was being a little melodramatic. And I was disappointed. Apparently, this tradition was going to be one left unshared.

In the following years, I continued to prepare the traditional meal, but never again did I make him eat the sauerkraut. I have been disappointed that I haven’t had someone to share the tradition with.

That is, until last night. As I was preparing dinner, our 1½-year-old started to whine for a bite of it. I gave him a strand, sure he’d spit it back out. Instead, he took to the stuff like it was candy and ate at least a tablespoon with his dinner!

My year has been made already!

1 Eating pork & sauerkraut on New Year’s Day for good luck in the coming year is a German/Pennsylvania Dutch tradition.
2 Actually, I’m not superstitious, but where we have a tradition, I cling to it for dear life.

3 Comments

  1. Stephan Anstey Stephan Anstey
    January 3, 2008    

    Children are amazing creatures really. Just when you think you have them figured out, the next thing you know they’ve eaten all the sauerkraut and left you with the mystic notion that somehow things will work out.

  2. artjewl artjewl
    January 3, 2008    

    But you have to agree, that has to be a good omen, right? Somehow things will work out…

    … right?

  3. Bree Bree
    January 3, 2008    

    I wandered over here from Jason Mraz’s blog…and I’m glad I did! What an awesome post. My grandmother swore she lived as long as she did because she ate sauerkraut. Here’s to hoping she was right! 🙂

    –Bree

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torch bearing quietly

I will not act out, will not
yell or curse or slam doors,
will not make a scene -- you
do not deserve such a chance
to make an example out of me
to be proven right since you
are not. Instead, I'll stand
at this street corner, raise
my hand high and clench that
light which yet remains. It
will burn brightly, quietly,
fiercely before fading as I.

Then I'll be gone but found.

©JAC 2005

Poetry by Julie Ann Cook!

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