I love cooking breakfast. Muffins, pancakes, waffles with Vermont maple syrup, quiches, yogurt and fresh fruit parfaits, freshly squeezed orange and apple juice, fruit smoothies, bacon and eggs, buttermilk biscuits, scrambled eggs with cheese and herbs; I could keep going but I think you get the idea. My kids used to happily sit down with us at 6:30 in the morning. And then they became teenagers; and they know better now. They know they don’t actually need breakfast, the calories and nutrients aren’t really important. What’s really important is an extra thirty minutes in the bed. But those thirty minutes aren’t quiet, peaceful minutes, they’re fitful at best because either myself or Amy is fussing at them to get moving, take a shower, fix your lunch, etc. It’s the same conversation, a sort of “groundhog” morning that repeats itself every school day. They’ll eventually come downstairs with five minutes to spare, long enough to slap some cold peanut butter between two slices of cheap bread, stuff it into their backpack on top of yesterday’s peanut butter and jelly and perhaps drink a glass of milk or water. No amount of coddling or prodding has convinced them to change their minds. The waffle batter just sits and waits, bubbling like a cream colored tar pit that will surely bog them down if they dare to eat one. They’ll eye it suspiciously as the waffle iron’s thermostat clicks in approval and anticipation.
“What’s in that? It looks funny.”
“I grated an apple into it and added some cinnamon, want one?”
“Uh, yeah, no thanks, I’m just gonna have a glass of milk.”
The waffle iron’s thermostat clicks in disappointment.
And now two months into the school year I’ve quit making breakfast for them. I’ve wasted too much time and food. After they leave I’ll make myself something but it’s usually not nearly as interesting as yeast-risen waffles with apple and cinnamon. I keep thinking that they’ll come to me one day and tell me: “Hey Dad, I heard the craziest thing the other day, breakfast is like the most important meal of the day, it helps you actually learn and pay attention in school and all kinds of other nonsense. How ‘bout that. So you wanna make me an omelet tomorrow morning or what?”
I’m waiting for that day. The waffle iron and I are standing by.