Chockwut Pudding

Chockwut Pudding

From Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul

Chockwut Pudding

All the animals, excepting man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.

Samuel Butler

I had always respected rules, did all my homework and cleaned my plate before I could have dessert. An evening with my nieces Kristi and Kelli changed all that.

The girls wanted to play “waitress” and asked me to join them. Kristi (age three) and I were seated on the couch, ready to watch “the show,” and Kelli (age five) was our hostess and waitress.

“Good evening,” Kelli smiled at me. “Welcome to our show. Are you ready to order?”

“Yes. I’ll have popcorn with the show,” I answered.

“I’m sorry, there is no popcorn. This is a dinner show. We are serving dinner.”

“Oh, okay.” I hastily adjusted my order. “I’ll have a turkey sandwich.”

“Very good,” Kelli nodded briskly. Then she turned, peering over her imaginary order pad, to her next patron.

“What would you like to order for dinner with your show?” asked Kelli.

“Chockwut pudding,” smiled Kristi.

“I’m sorry,” answered the waitress. “This is a dinner show. We are serving dinner. You have to order dinner. Do you understand?”

Kristi nodded solemnly.

“Okay, good. So what would you like to order?” Kelli asked crisply.

“Chockwut pudding,” said Kristi.

“No, Kristi! I told you—this is dinnertime. Only dinner is being ordered now. Afterwards, maybe you can have dessert, but this is just for dinner. So what do you want to order for dinner?”

“Chockwut pudding!” Kristi stated with conviction.

“You can’t have chocolate pudding. You have to order dinner. What will you have?”

“Chockwut pudding.” Kristi spoke slowly and patiently, as if speaking to someone from another planet.

“Oh. All right.” Kelli, the perfect waitress, stomped off to serve dinner (and chocolate pudding) and start the show.

This little scenario between two adorable little girls changed the way I think about a lot of things. Why do you have to eat a big dinner to have dessert? And what if dessert is all you reallywant? Why is it that people who really know what they want always seem to get it? Look at how persistence really pays off if you stick to your guns. Why do we give away our power to those feeding us? And why can’t we have chocolate pudding whenever we want it?

So now I think of “chockwut pudding” whenever something seems to be standing in my way—and I breeze right past the obstacles . . . like cancer. I think “chockwut pudding” whenever anyone implies that my goal can’t be achieved, my dream can’t come true, or that cancer can’t be defeated. All the research, the medical technology, chemotherapy and radiation are there to keep my dreams alive . . . and they’re working.

The next time someone tells you that you can’t beat the odds or change your life, look them squarely in the eye and say with a smile: “Chockwut pudding!”

Mary Olsen Kelly

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