To my children, upon waking:
Have a seat and tell me about your dreams last night.
When we’re done with that, tell me what in happening in your life today and I’ll tell you about mine.
Grumpy? I see that. Let’s see if a bowl of cereal, some hot oatmeal or scrambled eggs can fit the bill.
Between raising five kids and working full time+, I don’t have much time totally devoted to you guys. Breakfast is that time for me. It’s my time to remind you that even though there are other things that pull us away from home on a daily basis, you and your dad are the most important responsibilities in my life. I want to start my day with that commitment.
Some days that might mean a warm breakfast, maybe even muffins, and other days it may mean a bit of a scramble with cereal or cold pizza on the menu.
People tout the importance of eating dinner together as a family and I understand that. By dinner, though, your day is coming to a close. I want to hear how it went and I want to check back in with each other as a family.
But more importantly, I want to start our day together. I want you to see my face and see that I’m on your side before all the crap you’ll deal with today. I want to hear about your aspirations for the day and affirm them. I want to be sure you eat something semi-healthy before the three birthday cupcakes you’ll devour at various locations before we end up back at home for dinner.
I want you to be independent. I ask you to make your own lunches for school, keep track of your homework and do your laundry. Four of you know how to sweep the floor, do the dishes and make your beds. I’m usually met with resistance when I remind you of these responsibilities but I know that’s part of the process. I want you to do these, and other, things for yourself – not because I’m mean or unreasonable (though I realize you think so) but because I believe that’s your role as part of the family.
But breakfast is different. I’ve made it my responsibility – this one small, mundane part of our family life – because I want to give you something each day that you don’t have to earn. I want to do something just because I love you. This is that thing for me.
We don’t know what today will bring. It could be full of triumphs or heartbreaks – but most likely a combination of smaller versions of both. There could be tears or excitement, anxiety or breakthroughs. I can’t guarantee how any part of your day will go but I can sure as heck send you off with a full stomach and all my good energy.
So let me make you breakfast this morning, and tomorrow morning too. One day you’ll make your own and I’ll miss this.
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