Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bacon and Eggs

Spring is here. The year is winding down. Teachers (and students) are counting how many days we have left before summer break. There's a hopeful listlessness spreading through the school, a strange slow energy of distraction and indifference. Parents feel it, too. Tardiness and absence rates are rising. The sense of purpose that characterized the fall is slipping away as we look forward to next year.

I have felt it this month as well. Instead of getting up to run and make lunches and feed the family I sit on the side of my bed and brush my hair slowly, wilfully ignoring the news broadcast on the radio. The children eat bowls of cereal before I come downstairs and pack vaguely balanced lunches that they don't let me inspect. Our morning routine has evaporated.

All week students have been coming to the office complaining of stomachaches, of being tired, of headaches. An outbreak of strep? Perhaps springtime allergies. I give them water, have them rest for ten minutes, tell them to come back after lunch. They don't. Finally I made the connection and started asking the most important question: did you have breakfast?

No, they said. Didn't have time. I'm learning that lack of time is code for mom's working two jobs or we don't have money for gas or I sleep in the living room and the TV keeps me awake. Spring seems to be a time of transition. Of leaving one crowded home for another. Seeking new. Seeking better. Upsetting the routines and patterns which offered a semblance of stability.

The school offers breakfast free to all students, but when it's a necessity it becomes a point of pride not to go. The hunger doesn't subside, though. So they come to the office. We add ten minutes to the tardy slip and order them to the cafeteria, for which they are secretly grateful. We whisper in the teacher's ear that he didn't have breakfast, and she will slip him a snack mid-morning. In the office we hand out granola bars to tide them over until lunch. We do our best to close the gaps.

I dispense snacks and think about my own lapse. Most every day this year I cooked bacon and scrambled eggs and buttered toast. My family ate together before bustling out to school with no worries other than remembering to bring our lunch boxes. My children and husband are unaware of how blessed we are. As for me, I think I'll get up and prepare breakfast tomorrow. 


  1. Happy Mother's Day, sweet girl.

  2. Wow. I do appreciate that schools have been willing to do what they can to fill the heads and stomachs of students. It shouldn't have to be that way, but it is. All power to a mid-morning granola bar!

    But you? With making such an awesome breakfast for your family each day? Double wow.