While on this trip, Pipo was having a little difficulty... mainly a poor attitude and being generally grumpy and not at gracious as we would expect of him (or any fitzkids). Later, after we were able to talk it out with him, and when Fitz and I talked about it ourselves later, we realized it mostly came back to an age old issue... hunger.
I have written about hunger before, and the huge impact it has on Pipo. I know that it is a big issue for him, and we are usually pretty good about catching it and addressing it, but sometimes it still catches us off guard. Traveling can be tough for him, because he doesn't have the same food routine. We may know (and even tell him!) that there are hot dog vendors every 20 yards or so in D.C., but it isn't the same as being home with the knowledge that food is just a few steps away.
The boys have their first wrestling tournament of the season tomorrow (E.J.'s first tourney!), and at practice, the coaches emphasized what a long day it will be, discouraging newer boys to jump in quickly. I know both boys are ready though, and planned on going. Pipo said offhandedly a few times that he didn't want to go. I ignored him, because he wasn't being overly vocal, and because he can be negative at times when he is unsure of the outcome of a situation. I know he is ready, and he will probably do very well at the tournament. But I thought more about it this weekend, and it dawned on me that there might be another reason for his hesitancy. I asked him if he was worried about getting hungry being gone all day at the tourney. He quietly admitted this was the case. I asked him if he would like to go to the store today and pick out a few of his favorite snacks to pack up and bring with him. What a difference. He is a new boy, excited as can be about the tournament.
Another reminder of how deep hunger runs. I know in my heart now that this is a hurt he will never get past. He will find ways to cope, find ways to deal with it, and we will help him in every way we can. But that fear will always be there somewhere, the fear that someday there won't be enough to eat.