There are so many things I grew up with that I've always said "When I grow up, I'm not going to...." and then I'd fill in the blank with something or other that my mom did that bugged me.
One of those things was breakfast. For as long as I can remember, even when my mom worked full time, she got up every morning and fixed a hot breakfast for us. French toast, pancakes (from scratch), bacon and eggs...all the basics you'd find on the menu at your favorite breakfast joint.
At some point there started to be a little pattern to it--every Monday we had some version of hot cereal; wheat hearts, cornmeal mush, oatmeal, cream of wheat...see? You could go a month of Mondays without repeating a mush.
Tuesday almost redeemed Monday because it became Toast and Hot Chocolate day (there was fruit, but to me that was incidental). For years I cursed Monday morning (and most of the others) and tolerated Tuesdays while vowing that when I grew up, I wouldn't fix a hot breakfast--I likely wouldn't eat breakfast at all (in the morning, I'd far rather eat than sleep!). And if I did eat breakfast, it would always be toast and hot chocolate and mandarin oranges.
For the most part, I've lived up to my vows. I'm still not a big breakfast eater. Most mornings it's much closer to lunchtime when I break my fast. And when you let my kids choose breakfast, they usually pick toast or cold cereal, which is often prepared by Dad since he's already up fixing his own breakfast anyway.
But this week, things are different. This week we joined the ranks of the families "getting ready for school." The first day I made cinnamon streusel swirl "train muffins" as a special treat for my train loving kindergartener. I accompanied them with some scrambled eggs because a muffin alone is like sending him off with cake for breakfast. And while I welcome cake as a perfectly good breakfast for me, my mom-sense knows my kiddos need better.
Morning two was blueberry pancakes. Morning three was a repeat of morning one (at Bug's request; he actually likes scrambled eggs). Not one bowl of cereal or piece of toast in sight. (Just so happens we're out of bread, but that's beside the point!)
And I'm realizing that maybe, even though I didn't appreciate it at the time, she did that not because she was a big old meany who made me get up half an hour earlier than I really needed to, to eat a meal I didn't even want. Maybe she did it because she knew we needed to get off to a good start; nourished in body and soul, connected to one another.
I can't guarantee that the next 15 years of sending little ones off to school will still find me at the stove fixing a warm meal every morning, but for right now it seems like the right thing to do.
And since I'm sure I never said it at the time, "Thanks for breakfast Mom."