Banana pancakes bring us together

I went to bed last night with the firm assurance that when I woke up, I would make banana pancakes. I’d been thinking about it for hours. I almost made them for dinner, but my mom had made fried rice. It was easier to eat the fried rice, and there would be fewer dishes to wash. Banana pancakes would wait for the morning.

I know it’s not everyone’s practice to plan breakfast quite that early. It’s not usually mine.

Well, sometimes it is. I really love breakfast. These past few weeks have been all about finding a reason to get up before 8 in the morning. When the sun is barely out and I have nowhere to be and the cold room outside my bed doesn’t welcome me to spring up into action, a plan for breakfast gets me up.

Thankfully, my mom doesn’t work a traditional 9-to-5 job. I don’t know what I’d do if I woke up knowing I’d be alone all day and didn’t have anything to do outside the house. That’d be nice for a vacation. Not for a daily life. So when I wake up, my mom’s on the couch in the living room, usually.

She hasn’t started her day yet either. She’s usually in her pajamas. I have matching ones, just in a different color. And we just take our time in getting the day going. We drink our coffee, read our Bibles, and talk about the day to come. And I’m not alone in my non-student-status or in not going to work that day or in staying in my pajamas for a long time. She’s there, too.

And she’s not hounding me about how many jobs I’m going to apply to that day or making me feel small for not having a job lined up right after college. The very idea of doing that would make her shrug and say, “Why would I do that?” because she knows God will provide the right job at the right time. She’s not worried.  And she knows I’m looking.

Sometimes she asks me if I have any plans to leave the house that day. If I don’t, we make some. She took me out for a pizza lunch once during my first week so I’d have something to do. You can only run so many errands and take so many walks (especially when the cold wind literally freezes your face). Church is only twice a week. And hours at work haven’t been plentiful in this slow time for retail.

This morning, I came into the kitchen, feeling a little guilty for sleeping until 8:45 again. My goal this week had been to get up progressively earlier every day. But it keeps being 8:45 when I get up. My mom had a bowl with flour in it and cinnamon, and there was another bowl beside it.

Somehow, I just knew what was going on.

“What are you making?”

“Banana pancakes.”

We had a moment of wonder as we discovered that we both had been wanting to make banana pancakes since last night, and that without communicating about it, we’d both had that plan for this morning, even though banana pancake aren’t some tried and true family recipe. I’m not sure we’ve ever even made them as a family.

I’m still a little astounded at the way that happened. A small thing, but eating them with my mom this morning and talking about whether or not the gun control laws would help the problem of violence (not what you expect to talk about over banana pancakes, but sometimes these things happen) was another moment to be together.

I’m not alone in my mornings where I wake up without the immediate need to start the daily grind, and this morning I wasn’t even alone in my plan for banana pancakes.

Somehow, that’s encouraging.

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