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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Breakfast in 2013

Free form snow men pannycakes!
Breakfast in the new year is going to be a lot more challenging, but more important than ever.  Less than a month has passed since those horrid events at Sandy Hook Elementary School; in that month we have witnessed the passage of Christmas and the ushering in of 2013.  While the nation continues to convulse over how best to defend the lives and the innocence of of our children, spending time with our children and our families is even more important today than it was yesterday.  The coming economic morass will serve as an even larger challenge while working families continue to struggle to make ends meet while still having enough of themselves left at the end of the day for the kids.  Which brings us back full circle to the whole point of this blog: breakfast.  We never know in advance the arrival of some senseless tragedy that will wrench away a family member, we cannot predict when medical calamity or job loss will render a family broken and brokenhearted. We do know that the measure of days available to have breakfast with our children, while they are still possessed of the magic of childhood, inescapably decreases with each and every day.  Have breakfast with your children.  Today. Now.

Breakfast during the holidays is a lost art.  In the week preceding Christmas, I wondered a few times about a  breakfast feast suitable for my craven, gift-sated children.  I even considered slaving through some Scotch eggs, until I saw that dish featured on some foodie show.  Too kitsch to be that memorable.  Finally free of the chains of work, I thought surely I would have time over the weekend prior to Christmas to find the ideal Christmas morning feast.  Instead, I spent four days (including Christmas Day) over-medicated on over-the-counter cold formulas.

Prefers not to have waffles and breakfast
meats on the same plate.
As the torn wrapping paper was cleared away, the children made preparations to play all the great new Xbox games that they had received in their Christmas bounty.  My wife quietly disappeared to the bedroom where she would stay most of the rest of Christmas Day.  I just didn't have it in me to fight through to the kitchen to try to create some last minute feast.  As it turned out, I had just enough energy to complete one dance routine with the 14 year old on Just Dance 4, before collapsing onto the couch in a Doc Holliday-esque coughing fit.

There was some growing trepidation as the kids worked their way through the stack of Xbox games, inevitably headed towards the Call of Duty Black Ops II game at the bottom of the stack.  My wife and I had made the decision some time ago that we would allow the boys to play some of the first person shooters.  The sting of Sandy Hook was still palpable, and I was beginning to second guess that decision.  As it turned out, I needn't have worried.  The boys dove into the Zombie maps.  They love the Zombie maps.  We play the Zombie maps with them.  The boys let me play long enough to try out some of the campaign, the portion of the game that features human on human violence.  After a few minutes, my cold medicine elixir was winning out, compelling me to seek room for a nap.  Handing over the controller, I expected the oldest son to continue on through the campaign.

While I crept off towards the promised land of sleep, I heard my oldest son explain to the youngest, "I really don't feel like playing the campaign.  Let's forget about that and just always play Zombies."  On his own, my son was eschewing realistic video game violence, and was convincing his little brother to do the same.

Then I felt really guilty in not holding the breakfast feast that morning, but I started to feel the return on the time invested in previous morning's breakfasts.  Witnessing my son using his own judgment, watching him trying to guide his little brother... well, that was the best present I received on the morning of Christmas 2012.  Those moments of realization when I see the hints of an adult in my children, that is why I readily make free-form snowmen shaped pannycakes, why I do stupid dance routines when stoned on NyQuil, that is why my wife doesn't let me bark too loudly when the kids pour a quart of syrup on a single piece of french toast, that is why we have breakfast for dinner and when Grandpa comes to visit, its why we make such a big deal out of going out for breakfast.  This is the reason I am a little happier when cooking up a batch of Awfuls and Pannycakes.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so proud of you and the daddy you have become. :)