Tag Archives: breakfast

The Most Important Meal of the Day

No telling what time G got up so that he could preheat the oven and cook a pan of biscuits for the kids. Vivi had asked for them at dinner last night, but I ordered Chinese food instead and promised her biscuits in the morning. G delivered them. Each of our kids got a “You Are Special!” plate loaded with two hot biscuits, butter and jelly, a few strawberries and a small pyramid of blueberries.

Vivi gobbled hers right up, but Carlos spent 20 minutes eating half a strawberry, then pitched a fit when I said it was time to go. G put one of the biscuits in a to-go bowl and set it by Carlos’ seat in my car. I tucked a pack of applesauce into Vivi’s backpack for snack, but when I went to put one in Carlos’ backpack, he said, “Don’t want that!” I put it in anyway because I haven’t had time to go to the store and it’s the only snack we had handy.

In the car, I reminded him that we only had a few minutes and he needed to eat his biscuit before we got to school. He nibbled along the edge and complained that there was butter on it when he prefers only jelly. Oh well.

We got to school and had to park in the last available space–it’s parent breakfast day for 3rd and 4th grade today. Carlos wandered down the sidewalk with his fully intact biscuit in his hand. He might have given it a lick or two but none of it was getting in his belly. We missed the cutoff for Tardy by one minute, so as I signed us in on the computer and got the appropriate stickers and waited for the door to be unlocked, he stepped over to Miss Valerie’s desk and dropped that biscuit straight into the trash. Grinning the whole time.

All that work. For nothing.

Fine. Be hungry. Your choice, your consequence.

We walked into the kindergarten hallway. A girl sat at a table outside the classroom next to Carlos’ class. She was sobbing–that hiccuping and shaking kind of crying that wracked her whole body. Two of her classmates stood behind her and looked concerned.

I got Carlos to his room and all squared away in a few minutes. When I came back into the hallway, the girl was still sobbing at the table, all alone.

“Are you OK, honey?” I rubbed her back in a circle as she hiccuped. She wiped her nose on the too long sleeve of her green sweater. “Nooooooooooo…” she cried.

“I can see you’re upset. Is there anything I can help you with?” Pat pat pat.

A boy from her class came out to get a folder from his backpack. He looked a little worried about her too. He said, “She missed breakfast.”

“Is that what’s got you upset?” She raised her chin and met my eye for the first time and nodded. “I got here too late for breakfast.”

“Are you hungry?” She nodded again. “Do you like applesauce? My son has some applesauce in his bag–would you like that?” She nodded harder.

I got the “don’t want that” pack of applesauce from Carlos’ backpack, twisted off the cap, and handed it to her. She squirted a little too much out and it dripped onto her green sweater. I hopped up to get a tissue to clean it up.

The girl’s teacher stuck her head out of the classroom door and saw what was going on. As I was saying, “Can I grab a tissue?” and feeling glad that I had been able to help this poor hungry child, the girl, who had stopped crying, sipped applesauce timidly from the squeeze-pack.

The teacher asked, “Did you give her that?” I told her I had. She looked uncomfortable and said, “Um, I know you were trying to be nice but we can’t do that.”

I looked at her blankly, thinking it was some rule about eating in the hall or something. So I laughed and said, “Oops! I didn’t know!” in this conspiratorial way like “let’s just let this one slide because the kid is hungry, right?”

The teacher went on–“I mean, if she had allergies or something…”

Ugh. Right. Of course. That was stupid of me.

“Oh gosh, you’re right. I’m sorry.” The teacher handed me a tissue then ducked back into her classroom.

I went back to the little girl, who was now sitting up calmly in her chair. I wiped the drops of applesauce off her sweater and gave her a smile. She handed me the still mostly full applesauce pack and said, “I’m finished.” Then she headed back to class.

Back at Miss Valerie’s desk, I dropped the uneaten applesauce in the trash, right on top of my son’s abandoned biscuit. Thanks to my problem solving, Carlos wouldn’t have a snack OR breakfast. And the little girl who missed breakfast had applesauce on her sweater and an empty belly.

As I write this, the cats are taking turns sipping milk from Carlos’ cup that he left on the table. Huck ate the last two biscuits while we were gone because I forgot to put them off the stove while I was out saving the world.

Some days I try to fix everything and none of it works out right. None of it.

But I can’t imagine a day when I will walk past a hungry, crying child and not try to do something.



Morning Magic

Wednesday morning, I drove over to Watkinsville for a meeting…that had been canceled.  No one thought to tell me. Oh well.  I was in such a good mood that there was no frustrating me with inconveniences.  When you find yourself in Watkinsville early in the morning and you haven’t eaten breakfast yet and you have a little time on your hands, what do you do?  This girl pops in to Waffle House for a Cheese and Eggs platter with grits, wheat toast, and sausage.  Aw, yeah!

I sat at the low counter because all the spinny seats at the high counter were taken.  On one perched a retired man in a cowboy hat with a peacock feather bobbing from the band.  The seat by the register held a prosperous looking fellow in an emerald green golf shirt who held up a full-page newspaper ad and told the waitress, “THAT is NOT Kim Kardashian.”  Obvious Photoshopping on the waistline.  In the center, a couple deep in their phones.

Ms V. took my order–she’s my favorite because one time Vivi and I went in there and they talked about sharing V names.  While the cooks did their thing, one of the younger girls started singing a pop song.  She wasn’t as entertaining as she thought she was.  Ms. V must not have approved because after she dropped off my plate, she walked over to the jukebox, pressed some magic button and started up something far better:  Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch singing “I’ll Fly Away” from the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack.


I couldn’t help it. Quietly, under my breath.  Just loud enough to hear myself…I started singing.

I’ll fly away oh glory
I’ll fly away in the morning
When I die hallelujah by and by
I’ll fly away

The Cheese and Eggs platter reminds me of my Grandmama Eunice.  In the summers when I was young, I spent the days with her while my parents and siblings worked.  Some days, she would fix me a big breakfast–eggs, sausage, grits and toast.  I liked to use the toast as a base, pile on a little dab of grits for mortar, then a little bit of egg, then a bite of sausage and eat it all together.  I still eat it that way at the Waffle House.  I was thinking of Grandmama Eunice and those breakfasts, singing “When the shadows of this life have gone, I’ll fly away,” when I realized that the woman beside me was singing too.  And the man with the newspaper was whistling along.  The peacock feather kept the beat.  Ms. V joined in on the chorus.


I’ll fly away oh glory
I’ll fly away in the morning
When I die hallelujah by and by
I’ll fly away
Just a few more weary days and then
I’ll fly away
To a land where joys will never end
I’ll fly away
I’ll fly away oh glory
I’ll fly away in the morning
When I die hallelujah by and by
I’ll fly away
I’ll fly away


A few hours earlier, my friend, Hannah, had shared this quote from J. B. Priestley:  “I have always been delighted at the prospect of  a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.”  Amen.  I found my bit of magic at the Waffle House in Watkinsville, singing an old song with strangers.  My bill was $8 and I left a $20 for Ms. V.

Here’s to a new day, a fresh try, one more start!

morning magic