Saturday, April 12, 2014

Birthday Pancakes

On one of the few days left in an adult's year
where selfishness and gluttony are acceptable, often encouraged,
I fix myself an order of buttery, syrupy pancakes,
 fantasizing about the peace and tranquility that could come
from a leisurely breakfast at the table.

Browsing the news.
Drinking in the sunlight.
Sipping coffee while it is still hot and
not neglected, cooling on a counter
while I tend to a drippy nose or an empty juice cup.  

Time for me to just be me,
I chant to myself as I set my cup and plate down at the table.

I take one bite,
 then two bites,
relishing the fact that my children have not yet
caught sight of me from the living room.
 My plan is working.
Warm sips of coffee.
Beautiful rays of sunlight.
This is the life.

And then she sees me.
Hair wild like long, tall grass.
Voice shrieking high
like the monkeys she loves at the zoo.
Tiny feet racing one another,
Left foot versus right --
which could get to me fastest?

She softly lays her head on my lap.
She doesn't know the words yet,
but her deep chocolate eyes do all the talking for her.
I know that I have been caught.

I carefully cut one bite,
then two bites,
and offer them to her on my fork.
She gobbles them up faster than I can cut another piece.
She squeals with delight
as she hoists herself up onto my lap.
She takes my fork
and cleans my plate for me,
as if she didn't want to put me out
any more than she already has.

A small violinist that lives inside my heart
plays a tune as I say goodbye
to the last bite, sliding off the fork
and into my daughter's mouth.

She knows she has stolen my breakfast.
Her apology is a sticky kiss,
loud and sloppy on my mouth and chin.
Before I can speak a word,
she slides off my lap
and sprints toward her toys.
Her work here is done.

My coffee is cold.
My plate is empty.
My stomach rumbles.
Still, these birthday pancakes were some of my favorites.
This is the life.

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