For May 2018, we are hosting a series on Cherishing Childhood. Check back to read more essays in the series as the month unfolds. Check out Episode 39 of the Kindred Mom Podcast, Cherishing Childhood with guest Lindsey Cornett, and Episode 40 on Letting Go of Loving Motherhood with Robin Chapman.
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During the week, the only hot breakfast my family gets is the kind that comes from the microwave. I’m not talking the fancy kind; I’m talking the 1-minute oatmeal kind. If I’m feeling swanky, I might toss a few raisins in there. With a full-time office job that begins at 7 a.m., I’ve declared it impossible to make a hot breakfast and retain any semblance of sanity. I don’t suffer any guilt over the decision, but I have come to correlate hot breakfast with leisure.
And so, a few years ago, I unintentionally launched Waffle Saturday. I assembled an entirely new plan of breakfasts aimed at encouraging my then picky two-year-old to abandon her yogurt rut, and on that list was healthy Pumpkin waffles.
They were delicious.
The next Saturday, I tackled Oatmeal Banana Waffles.
The day I went into labor with my son, I had just completed a lovely and elaborate Nutella and strawberry concoction to top the aforementioned Oatmeal Banana Waffles.
Over the past few years, Waffle Saturday has become gradually less elaborate and exponentially messier, as I am now joined in the kitchen by a three-year-old, who is eager to pour, stir, and taste, and a one-year-old toddling around at our feet.
For me, this capital-W Waffle Saturday means a whole lot more than just making and eating waffles. Instead, this ritual encompasses all the sweetness family life has to offer.
On Waffle Saturday, we are together exactly as we are: eyes just shaking their sleep, hair tousled, PJs wrinkled.
We do the work of preparing our food together, and then share the joy of eating it.
Each of us contributes what we can, and the result is our collective masterpiece.
When I travel for business, I often take a late Friday night flight back home, so I am home to eat breakfast on Saturday with my family. And those Saturday waffles are the best way to launch a weekend after travel.
On Waffle Saturday, we connect.
In these little years, there isn’t much discussion of the week behind us or big plans for the weekend stretching ahead. Our conversation rests mostly on the silly shapes being eaten, or light banter over whether Nutella and powdered sugar and syrup are an acceptable start to the day. (They are not, in my opinion; however, my preschooler has a surprisingly detailed perspective on this topic.)
While our discussion is simple, I hope that in establishing this tradition early on, we’re creating a rhythm of gathering together. The week has ended, rest has arrived, and we will begin that together, just as we are.
I imagine my grown children bursting through the door with families of their own, filling my kitchen with mess and love and laughter as we start Saturday.
Even if that doesn’t happen, I believe whenever they smell the sweet stickiness of waffles, my children will remember those bleary-eyed Saturday mornings, when we gathered together, bed-ruffled, eager to rest and relax, and made something sweet together.
Kelsi Roberts lives in Seattle, Washington, where she and her husband are raising their two kids (ages 3 and 1). Kelsi works full time from a home office. She strives to make space for the important things and model what it looks like to love Jesus, raise babies, and work full time for her observant little people. She has learned this requires a lot of grace and a lot of Pinterest fails. You can find her navigating this on Instagram or on her very occasional blog contributions: https://littlespacesblog.wordpress.com/
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