I have often shared memories concerning paper straws with my children. Whether I bought hot lunch at school or carried my food in a plain brown paper bag that had to last an entire week–you can only imagine how completely limp it was come Friday–I would always purchase a small carton of milk as part of my meal. After taking my place in the long lunch line that hugged the wall of the cafeteria, I slowly stepped forward until it was finally my turn to stand in front of a small partially open window from which an out-stretched hand collected my milk card as it was swiftly punched one more time, and in turn I would receive an icy cold box of milk along with a thin paper straw. My lunch ritual included carefully choosing the correct time to put the straw into the milk box. If placed too soon, before I was ready to finish the milk, it would slowly yet surely begin to soften as I finished my lunch.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered a box of paper straws at the grocers. They are more expensive than the sturdy plastic ones, but I could not resist buying them so my children could experience a drinking straw going limp. I still prefer plastic, the new paper straws are considerably more durable than the ones I remember, yet it still brings a smile to my face to be able to share with my children why sometimes you need to drink quickly.