Most of the meals I make as a parent are distracted and burnt. Mornings are always a struggle and breakfast tends to get caught in the crossfire of packing lunches, getting dressed and “HURRY, it’s my turn in the bathroom!” A few weeks ago a pair of sausage patties took the brunt.
It was clear there wasn’t much worth saving-but in a desperate attempt at a good breakfast-I scraped the charred side down to edible and carved away the black edges to reveal two perfectly shaped hearts. I threw the salvaged patties on a plate with a banana, sideways like a smile, and added half of an orange for a nose. My son beamed like his breakfast.
That night during dinner I noticed Hunter was quiet and because he’s never quiet, I asked him, “Is everything ok?”
He lifted his eyes from the table and grumbled, “You didn’t give me any hearts.”
Since then meals are a little bit like the inquisition. Every helping is a heart shaped version of “Find the Panda,” and my ass is on the line unless I serve up valentines. On the flipside, I have an everyday opportunity to pack love into each bite.
Grandma claimed TLC made everything taste better, I guess she was right.
Hearts are a big deal at our house. We draw and paint them, collect rocks shaped like them, and now we eat them.