Sunday, November 24, 2013

Birthday Breakfasts

Today is the day that we, and I do me we, make the annual birthday breakfast for my wife. Originally, it was a day to celebrate some cooking prowess while the kids pranced around the kitchen and my wife pretended to sleep to the racket. In the past, lobster and butter sauce made the menu but now it has become more sedate to accommodate the skills of the underage labourers.

My ten year old (my gosh, has it really been?) reminded me last night as we were making the final countdown list that he helped a lot last time. He had put the bacon on the hot griddle which was a benchmark moment for him. The youngest is relegated to cracking the eggs and providing some of the first stirs. He is starting to get the hang of it but the first few whisks around the bowl provide more of a tilt-a-whirl effect than breaking the yolks into the whites. There are a few extra minutes used to fish out the shells.

A usual quick breakfast making time extends past the fifteen mark but it means that all those extra minutes are spent with my children. Breathe in, breathe out. Sometimes it is stressful when you are looking for perfection, giving directions and guidance without crushing their pride. It is a delicate balance but something that is easier for me to do in the wee hours of these preparations.

Of course, there is the sloppiness of timing and the eggs weren't quite hot, and the toast had grown cold but the look on my partner's face is worth it. There is always some awkwardness as all four of us try to squeeze onto the bed with our clanking forks on the plates. The bed sheets always need a wash as flecks of grease, eggs, and a truant bacon bit makes its way into the folds along with some Jackson Pollock drips of ketchup. It has become a ritual to mark time. It is a time to celebrate. Sometimes celebrations are messy. Sometimes life is messy. I stole that from a commercial whom I am sure stole it from a famous poet.

The menu varies but it has settled on the following for Mother's Day and Mommy's Birthday.

Scrambled Eggs
Peameal Bacon
Streaky Bacon
Fried Bread (fried in the bacon grease)

Happy Birthday!

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