Pancakes for Dinner

A late afternoon rainstorm made for a sluggish commute home from work a few days ago. As I pulled up the street to our home, I flicked the button to the garage door opener. I  couldn’t wait to set down my briefcase and relax on the couch.

But as I stepped foot inside the house it sounded like Kim had started a daycare without my knowledge. I stood just inside the door, staring at the ceiling.

The kids laughter muffled my arrival home. I could stay downstairs until things settled down.

But that didn’t last long.

What was going on upstairs? I was curious.

I heard Kim yell, “Will you guys eat pancakes?” By the time I walked into the kitchen she was on the phone. Her friend (our neighbor) wasn’t feeling well. Kim offered to watch three kids while their mother rested.

Of course, none of this surprises me. Kim has a way of sensing when others need help. It’s a trait she’s exercised for so many years that it comes naturally.

I stood back and watched her flip pancakes, make scrambled eggs, set the table, and round up seven children. All with a phone to her ear. Just one of those activities would give me trouble.

Even then, I considered grabbing a plate of food and bolting downstairs to avoid the chaos. But I thought better of it when Kim mentioned to me that Anna had a difficult afternoon. I decided to sit next to her, but we ran out of chairs.

I picked up the piano bench from the living room and set it next to the dining table. Kim placed a plate stacked full of pancakes on the table. Over the next few minutes I watched the kids interact with each other. There was a lot of laughter and excitement in their voices. It was loud with each child raising his or her voice to be heard over the others.

Except for Anna. She sat next to me with her head down. I asked if she wanted maple syrup on her pancake. She agreed if I’d cut it into pieces for her.

And then someone asked Lincoln to tell us about the worm he peed on that morning.

Anna turned to me and said, “Oh dad, you’ve got to hear this story!”

So I sat there on an uncomfortable piano bench surrounded by kids eating pancakes and scrambled eggs while listening to Lincoln tell us why he peed on a worm.

I don’t know what I signed up when I became a father, but I’m sure it didn’t include this scenario.

But other than adding padding to the bench, I wouldn’t change a thing. 

5 thoughts on “Pancakes for Dinner

  1. Its so easy to lose perspective missing these precious moments. Reading your blog reminds me how privileged I am to be a father. I've said this before, but I will say it again: your children are blessed having a Dad like you. 🙂 I hope you back-up your blog's content to ensure they have it close to them for ever; and, one-day, follow your excellent example with the grandchildren! Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

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  2. I guarantee years from now your kids won't remember all the nights when you had chicken or fish or hamburgers for dinner, but they'll remember pancakes and scrambled eggs. My mom would make waflfles for dinner once in a great while. She probably only did it a couple of times in my childhood, but I remember all the laughing when they split apart as they came out of the waffle maker and the excitement when we realized she was putting chocolate chips in some of them (which she never did at breakfast time). I think it's so rare for a parent to recognize those small moments as they are happening. You are a very special dad.

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  3. Thank you for the comment, Adrian. Although I didn't backup much the first couple of years, I've been better at making sure I have backups of everything since that time. I lost a number of posts between 2000 and 2004 that still make me sad to think about.

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  4. Karen, I hadn't thought about that but I believe your're right. We'd have to do a lot of coaxing to get my mom to make us waffles or pancakes for dinner. I think the times we did were those when we didn't have a lot of other meal options. Thanks for the kind comment.

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