This morning, I made waffles. Eldest sat at the kitchen table watching me with a profoundly dreamy expression on her face.
“Whatcha thinking about?” I finally asked.
“Mmmmm? Oh. I was putting something into my memories for later.”
“Putting what into your memories?”
“Someday, maybe when I’m on my own and feeling sad or when I’m old or something, I suspect it will be quite comforting to remember how you looked when you were making waffles, and what it smelled like and how the beep sounds and how you can hear it way upstairs and we all start brushing our hair super-fast so we can be the first one downstairs, and the way you always smile when we ask for extra-extra-extra butter and syrup. And that you always cut them apart into hearts and make flowers with them.”
What a funny little kid she is. I mean, the language alone: “I suspect it will be quite comforting”? What ten year old puts things that way? And to be ten years old and saying to yourself that sometime, when life isn’t being very nice to you, you will be looking back on something as commonplace as your mother making waffles on a school-day morning and find it…comforting.
She’s an old soul, that one. Ten going on fifty, in a lot of ways.
I made her heart-petal waffle flower, dotted with butter and drowning in maple syrup, and I found myself thinking: Someday when I am old, or sad, or feeling lost and alone…I will find this memory quite comforting, too. Remembering my little bouquet of children at the breakfast table on a Waffle Day, the way a collective shout of pleasure goes up when the first tell-tale shriek goes up from the iron, the thumping of little feet on the stairs, the jockeying for position at the table and insistent cries, “I was here next, mommy, I get the next one!”
The noisy squealing and laughing and getting syrup in their hair and on their nice clean clothes.
I suspect it will indeed be quite comforting to remember what they looked like, and how they sounded, and the way the butter melts on the waffles and how easily real maple syrup washes out of clothes and hair.
Comforting today, tomorrow, and Someday, too.
P. J. O'Rourke
10 hours ago