Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Breakfast in Bed
One of my favorite Mother's Day memories occurred for a stint of time during my pre-teen years. Jordan and I had a pretty substantial paper route and made a decent little allowance delivering papers to half our small town every afternoon. But our early Sunday morning route made us earn every penny of that paycheck. Dad was our driver and I have very vivid memories of being drug out of bed an hour before sunrise, picking up our hefty stack of the Sunday's Courier in front of the post office, and taking turns sliding the mini-van door open and shut and running to all the usual doors to get the paper there before the sun. It was bitterly cold and miserable in the winter time, but I sort of loved being up before the rest of the world on those spring and summer Sunday mornings.
Especially the morning of Mother's Day.
I remember the first time I had the idea to make mom breakfast. I rode with her to Hy-Vee for Saturday groceries, but had my own pocketful of cash to do a little shopping of my own. I wandered around the store, grabbed a container of pre-cut fruit, a muffin mix, and jam, and made sure to pay at the register and sneak the bag to the car without her noticing. Then, when Dad and Jordan went back to bed for that hour or so before everyone was up for church, I tiptoed around our kitchen and made Mom her very first Mother's Day breakfast.
I'm not sure how she slept through it, or maybe she didn't, but I will never forget how surprised she was and how much happiness radiated from her that morning when she came into the kitchen and spotted my hard work. I remember sitting at the table with her, just the two of us up, talking quietly, sharing that plastic fruit cup, and feeling so proud to surprise her. My heart swelled to see her happy, for I was sure what she felt was just a glimmer of the happiness I felt to be her daughter.
Fast forward twenty or so years to this past Saturday. I'm laying in bed, half asleep, half awake, and I hear the pitter patter of Cruz's feet on our hardwood. I don't open my eyes and am half relieved when he walks around my side to Beau's side of the bed. He whispers something, I assume about turning on the TV for a cartoon, and I roll over as the two of them exit the bedroom, shutting the door behind them.
But soon I hear them. I hear the gas burner kick on and the eggs sizzle when they touch the pan. I hear the excited whispers from Cruz as he asks how to spell the words love, and mother, and happy. I hear them both tell Mila to whisper, to stop coloring on the countertop, and to stop eating Mom's banana. I smile as I hear Beau's guidance, Cruz's imaginative ideas, and Mila's wildness in the kitchen, and I feel so very blessed to be on the other end of this soon-to-be surprise.
They all march in singing Happy Mother's Day to the tune of the birthday song, Cruz in front smiling from ear to ear, Mila and her bed head, in her polka dot pajama top and undies because her pants got wet from playing in the sink, and Beau in the back, balancing a tray complete with eggs over hard, fresh tomatoes and basil, a banana, and three vanilla wafers, per Cruz's request. They all pile in around me talking a mile a minute as I attempt to listen and drink them all in at the same time. Apparently Cruz's wonderful teacher hinted that maybe breakfast in bed would be a good way for the boys and girls to make their moms feel special and apparently my boy took that instruction to heart. Beau was quite surprised to find Cruz by his bedside, whispering, "Daddy, let's surprise Mommy and make her supper for Mother's Day." They had handmade cards complete with a portrait of me and a tiny gold package, with Mila's fingerprint made into a pendant to add to Cruz's. It was the perfect start to Mother's day, brought to me by this little boy who wanted to surprise his mom and make her feel special. And although I could tell how happy he felt to accomplish this surprise, how his eyes lit up as he explained his picture, or made sure to tell me he sprinkled the basil on the eggs all by himself, I realized then that what he felt was a small sliver of the happiness I felt to be his mama.
Every now and then, I have these moments where something happens and it sort of feels like I'm living outside of an experience, looking in at my life as it plays on a video reel, and everything comes together in this full circle. I'm not sure why I have such vivid memories of making Mother's Day breakfast for my mom twenty years ago, but I sure thought about it Saturday morning as I laid in bed and listened to the loves of my life making me breakfast in the kitchen. There's nothing more beautiful than this motherhood thing, for I'm convinced you get to witness your heart beat outside of your chest.