Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Careful what you say over pancakes.

David, Rissa and I are enjoying our weekly Sunday pancake breakfast.

"These are great!" says Rissa. "The texture is magnificent!"

We've been trying to perfect gluten-free pancakes for the past several years. It's been hit or miss.

"Yeah," says David, chewing on his maple syrup-soaked pancake. "These are the ones. We've done it! Which is great, because these breakfasts are soon going to be a thing of the past."

I swallow my bite of pancake. My throat tightens. Moisture fill my eyes.

Rissa looks at my face. "Dude!" she says to David. "What did you just do?"

If someone were filming this moment, there would be a well-timed shot of a single tear sliding down my cheek.  Suddenly Rissa is no longer living at home with us. She's at university. She's graduated university. She's living in a different city. She's married and has kids but we only see her twice a year, because she's so busy and has so many commitments. "No more family breakfasts?"

David's eyes are wide. "No! I mean..." He shoots Rissa a panicked look. She shakes her and gives him a "you're the one who said this" eyebrow raise. He reaches over and takes my hand.  "No, we'll still have lots of Sunday breakfasts."

"No," I say. "We won't, actually. You're right. I've got The Cat's in the Cradle playing through my head. I know that it's not really completely appropriate to this situation, but the... end... of the song... that kid who now doesn't have time for his Dad...?" There is more than a single tear now.

"Awwww... Mama," says Rissa. "It's okay. We'll still do Sunday breakfasts."

"But not every Sunday! Not if we're living in different cities! And I know that life is like that. I know that. And I know that we don't see Mor-Mor and Far-Far all that often because we live far from them, but it's different because they had two kids and weren't as hands on and really didn't care when I left home, hell they wanted me to leave home, were wondering why I hadn't yet, but we really like you and like spending time with you and..." I can't continue speaking.

Rissa's taken my other hand. "Mama. It's okay. I promise we'll still have breakfasts. They won't be all the time, but we'll still have them. Just like we have them when we're at Mor-Mor and Far-Far's."

"Yeah?" I sniff, before wiping my eyes with my pajama sleeve.

"Yeah." She turns to David. "You can't just say shit like that. I mean, seriously! She's fragile!"

Turns out? I'm that Mom. If we had a problem child going through her teenage years in a funk of eye rolling with a side of whiny sarcasm, peppered with irrational outbursts, we'd be opening the door for her, we'd be packing her bags.

This is what you get for having a functional relationship with your daughter. Spontaneous fits of weeping over gluten-free pancakes.

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