The Last Day of School BrunchWritten by Carol Rice
Here he comes, screaming across the front yard and headed for the front door. I can’t wait until that darling twelve year old slams through it I think I am as excited as he is! I get to turn off my “school morning alarm” for three whole months. We get to go to bed when we want, wake up when we want, go to the park, take a hike, or ride our bikes to get a Tiger’s Blood sno-cone. We can lie out or splash around in the pool, make s’mores and sing around the fire pit. Maybe we’ll even watch a movie together IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY!
As of today, they’re mine, all mine for the entire summer!
As soon as he came through the door, the last of my children to arrive home, I had everything ready to begin our traditional “last day of school” brunch. I literally had spent hours making preparations. I knew they would all want to head right back out the door to play with their friends, but I wanted to keep them around for just a little bit longer. Two of my five children have already moved out so I know how fast the time goes.
I know that I have to make the most of these moments when we’re all sitting around the table for a few minutes. I know from past experience that when I prepare these brunches, I am exhausted and don’t have time to think about good find-out-questions that I can ask my children that will elicit the kind of communication that I am craving with them. I know about their day only what they choose to tell me, and so I need to have good questions that I can ask them that require more than a Yes, No, Pretty Good, Fine or I Don’t Know type of an answer. So I pull out my secret weapon: My Chat Cards. There are literally hundreds of questions written down here about every topic under the sun that will require some thinking and actual complete sentences from my teenagers.
While they’re gobbling down their Nutella and banana crepes I start asking some of the questions. We go around the table sharing stories when we get to one that makes time stand still.
“What did you learn about YOU this year?”
My sixteen and thirteen year olds both had nice answers but it was my twelve year old that turned my heart all mushy.
“I learned how important good friends are.”
That’s it. That’s all he said, but he spoke volumes!
All of those days I had quietly done my mom thing: asking, observing, suggesting, engaging, teaching, listening… and more listening. I knew at that moment that he had been paying attention to the way he felt, how he spent his time and how good things went when he played with good friends..
I knew this year he was making decisions about the kind of boy he wants to become. Now, after our little brunch chat – and three months of summer together – maybe, just maybe, I’ll be ready to let him go again.
What were some special growing times in your son/daughter's life? (Taken from Reflections of a Parent story starter)
Recipe by Colleen and Bob Simmons
2 Tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place ingredients in a blender or food processor, cover and process for 20 to 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of container and process for a few more seconds. Crepe batter can be used immediately, or refrigerated until needed. If it thickens on standing, thin to the right consistency with a little milk. Crepe batter should be thin enough to run freely around the bottom of the crepe pan when it is tilted.
To prepare the pan: Use a well-seasoned 6-or 7-inch nonstick pan, or small skillet. Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray. Before cooking the first crepe, add 1/2 teaspoon butter tot he pan.
To cook crepes: Two or three tablespoons of batter is usually enough to evenly coat the entire bottom or a 6- or 7-inch crepe pan. If necessary, adjust the amount of batter needed for the pan you are using. Pour in the batter and quickly tilt the pan so the batter entirely covers the bottom. If you have put in more than just a thin coating, pour the excess back into the bowl. This will leave a small flap on the crepe but it won’t be noticed when the crepe is filled and folded.
To turn crepe: The crepe is ready to turn when it begins to set and begins to look dry or crisp around the edges. Loosen around the edge with a spatula or knife so you have a starting place to pick up the crepe with your fingers, and then simply fillip it over. If you prefer, carefully turn with a spatula. Should it start to tear when picked up, it may not be cooked enough to turn. Cook for a few seconds longer and try again.
Once your crepes are cooked, fill them with your favorite toppings, such as Nutella and sliced bananas, sweetened cream cheese, pie filling, etc. Roll up and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
I grew up in a home rich with family heritage. My mom loved genealogy and knew how to breathe life into dusty documents and color to faded black and white photos - my mom told me stories.
As a grown woman with five children of my own, I've tried to do the same. For years I did it through scrapbooking. But it didn't take long to realize that it wasn't my artistic skills my children really cared about. They never stopped on a page and said, "Mom, you matched that paper to my shirt - perfectly!" Nope. What they did say as they leaned across my lap, pointing at photos is, "Tell me the story!" "Tell me mom about the day I was born... Tell me mom about the day I cried when everyone sang me happy birthday... Tell me mom about my grandma and her garden..."
Don't worry if you haven't done it forever, just start today. The consistency and cumulative effect of one good question - just sharing one story a day, adds up.
Latest from Carol Rice
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.