I was eating breakfast this morning, well actually it was my second breakfast but that is not quite as important, a grapefruit, when I was suddenly transported back to my parents kitchen 20 years earlier.
For as long as I can remember growing up, my dad would always be in the kitchen every morning in a suit, when my sisters and I trudged down the stairs around 7:30am. Each morning we would sit at our spot on the breakfast bar and pass the box of Lucky Charms, Cream of Wheat, or corn muffin and spray butter between us, chewing slowly and rarely making any sort of audible conversation. My dad would first make our sandwiches for lunch, each containing the perfect crispy piece of lettuce, meat, cheese, mayo for one girl, none for the other, and mustard for the third, then wrap them air-tight in a piece of foil, always collecting both pieces at the top and folding them together to ensure the most perfectly square block. Then as the three of us slurped up the remainder of our milk, or at the last crumb of our muffin, my dad would pull a grapefruit out of the bottom fridge drawer and slice it perfectly in half placing half in a bowl, as the other half magically disappeared back into the fridge. I can still hear the sound of the Cutco knife slicing through the grapefruit to the glass cutting board that was build into my parents countertop. Not a horrible screeching noise, but one that would make you wince if you hadn't grown up hearing it every day. Then my dad would cut around each section of pulp, freeing it from the bitter membrane. Although this was a long task, my dad would take his time, never getting annoyed and rushing through the last few. Clearly I did not inherited patience from my dad. After each section was free he would cut around the outside before eating one piece at a time with the grapefruit spoon with the tiny teeth at the end. After he was finished, he would squeeze the grapefruit into his bowl and drink the juice. Apparently, even though I was still half asleep, I paid pretty close attention to him each morning.
So as I ate my grapefruit in my kitchen this morning, just as my dad had each morning, I began thinking about A and what memories would stick with her about us when she grew up. Would she remember all the mornings I got up and made her breakfast, or would the dog throwing up one morning have a lasting impact on her life? I thought a bunch about the little things my husband and I do each day, like have a cup of tea, and fight over what morning show is on, the Today Show or Sports Center, and how A always kisses her dog before her naptime, and the game she plays when I try to get her in her car seat and she puts her feet down and refuses to sit, or how she stops halfway up the stairs and sticks her face through the railing posts and calls daddy to come and scare her.
I can only hope her memories are filled with how much we love her, and annoy her, and would do anything for her.