One weekend, I was making my kids breakfast and getting the boys (9 and 13) ready for their many weekend sports activities. We had dry cereal in the interest of time. And one of my boys said, “I wish you would make us pannekoeken (Dutch word for crêpe like thin pancakes).” They love to eat this treat with melted butter and powdered sugar. I had a similar response to this choice which was a staple in my Dutch parents’ household I sighed deeply feeling my temperature rise. I hated those kinds of comments. One part of me felt guilty that I didn’t get up earlier so making them was an option. The weekends are often the best chance for a more leisurely breakfast. I too enjoyed them. The preparation time and the great conversations that seem to start once everyone is digging into a special meal. Another part of me was annoyed and more than a little concerned that I was raising children who felt entitled to order what they wanted for breakfast and expected someone to make it for them. I responded to that later part and said, “You should be thankful you are getting a breakfast – many kids are not so fortunate. I wish someone would make me breakfast one time. What a treat that would be.” Crickets . . . The boys ate their cold cereal and went on with the days activities.
The next day was Sunday. I was looking forward to a
rare opportunity to sleep in. These opportunities felt so decadent.
No alarm, no rushing about, heaven. I woke from a deep sleep to the gentle
and then not so gentle nudging of my nine year old. “Mommy, mommy!!” he
said. I replied in as nice a voice as I could muster which didn’t sound
so different than totally grouchy to my ears, “Not now sweetheart, mommy wants
to sleep some more.” The nudging continued, “Please, mommy. I made
you breakfast.” I am now starting to wake up. But I am still not
quite willing to give up on the delayed start which is treasured after a long
week of work. “Thank you honey, you can put it on the table next to the
bed and I promise to eat it as soon as I get up,” He
persisted. “Just look mommy, for one second. I want you to see what
I did.” I rolled over and cracked open one eye. I see his beaming
face holding a plate with an omelet, turkey bacon, a slice of wheat toast and a
small glass of orange juice. I told him thank you so much as he set it
down. He then started to leave the bedroom.
At this point, spending
this quality time with my son was getting the upper hand over the desire to
crawl back under the covers but it took a bit more. “Come back
here. Please tell me why did you make me breakfast this morning.”
He said, “I felt bad when you said no-one makes you breakfast. I thought
I could make you breakfast and you could eat it in bed so you wouldn’t have to
get up.” At that point, hiding under the covers no longer had the same
appeal. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and sat up a bit straighter so I
could balance my plate on my lap. Leyla (my two year old) climbed up the
opposite side of the bed and snuggled up next to me to “help me” eat.
Damian sat next to me with a happy glow on his sweet face. What a
glorious way to start a morning. And a terrific reminder that sometimes
your kids surprise you and show you are having an impact. These are
moments I try my best to savor when they occur and hang on to for when things
aren’t going quite so positively. Here is a picture of Damian and Leyla
with my special treat.