Senior Stories

Breakfast in Bed

If you’ve written a novel or non-fiction book, you know that writing is just the first challenge. With publishers not even accepting unsolicited manuscripts, it’s tougher than ever to get published. Thanks to an aspiring novelist and Suddenly Senior reader, Ken Hodge of Vancouver WA, the idea for a Suddenly Senior Writers Showcase was born.

You can read more about the Writers Showcase at the end of the story…
And now without further ado, our first Writers Showcase entry!

Mothers’ Day takes on a different flavour when your children are grown.

They don’t forget the day, but now their greetings take the form of Hallmark cards or e-mails, and a meal in a restaurant. Store-bought cards are not half the fun of the home-made ones full of lopsided hearts and misspelled declarations of love and devotion that I used to get when the kids were small. Those are treasures I still hoard in the “memory boxes” I keep in a corner of my clothes closet (two boxes formerly used to transport bananas, now storing all the lovely, if useless, things I can’t bear to discard as long as I live). And a restaurant meal, nice as it is, doesn’t come close to the breakfast in bed my kids served up every Mothers’ Day.

I don’t know a mother who actually wants to have breakfast in bed. It involves a lot of re-arranging and plopping up of pillows in order to try to eat the meal at least half-way comfortably. Not to mention that an extra hour of sleep with complete silence in the house would be a gift most mothers would appreciate a lot more. But that wouldn’t be half the fun that a breakfast in bed served up by three kids can be.

It started with me being torn out of my dreams by an ominous crash coming from the kitchen.

“Wh-what on earth is that?” I’d mumble, sitting up and throwing back the covers.

“Relax,” my husband laughed, pulling me back down. “It’s Mothers’ Day.”

“Oh yeah,” I sighed. “I don’t think that’s a reason to relax. Just you wait and see.” But I’d lie back and pretend to be back in Morpheus’ arms, while the whispers from the kitchen took on more and more ominous tones.

“Get the cat off the counter, Gail. He’s sniffing at the milk jug.”

“He hasn’t touched it. And besides, he means well — he loves Mom, too.”

“Where is the whisk to beat the eggs?” The noise following that remark told me that the cutlery drawer scattered its contents all over the kitchen floor, which precipitated a trio of “Shhhh”.

“Don’t beat the eggs,” my five-year-old son advised. “Mom likes patched eggs.”

My husband stuffed the corner of his pillow in his mouth to muffle his laughter, while in the kitchen Gail asked scornfully, “Patched eggs?”

“He means ‘poached’,” Lynn said. “I don’t know how to make poached eggs. It’ll have to be scrambled.”

“But-“ Keith tried to renew his objection, but was prevented from doing so by a two-way chorus of “Shut up”.

Sleep had long fled by the time room service was served. “Surprise!” they yelled, plunking down a tray on the bed. “Happy Mothers’ Day!”

“Oh my goodness, isn’t this lovely!” I scrambled to avoid spilling everything all over the bed. My husband grabbed the orange juice just in time.

“Thank you so much, you guys! I can’t believe you got up so early and cooked this lovely breakfast.” I beamed at the mound of singed eggs and two pieces of blackened toast with marmalade. I’m no lover of marmalade.

“I cooked the eggs,” Lynn said proudly. “Sorry they’re not poached.”

“I did the toast,” Gail added, beaming.

Keith, not wanting to be left out, informed me that he poured the juice.

I showed full appreciation for the meal. How could I do anything else? They lined up around the bed, making sure that I swallowed every crumb.

“This is a great surprise!”

I offered some to my husband, who held his hands up in protest. “No, no, it’s your treat. Mothers’ Day, after all,” he said, trying to hide his evil grin.

I silently vowed that I would get even with him on Fathers’ Day. But I knew it wouldn’t work out. For some reason, while he was getting loving cards and little presents from the kids on Fathers’ Day, they never thought of making him breakfast in bed. I wonder why?

He had his own present for me on Mothers’ Day, though. He never failed to help the kids clean up the war-torn kitchen left after the breakfast labours were over.

I sure miss those long-ago Mothers’ Day “surprises”.

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