So many of my favorite moments and memories with you involve food. Family meals. Gathering in the kitchen to create a multi-course celebration while dancing, singing, laughing. From the time you were big enough to sit in a high chair you would chill at the table with us, joining into the conversation with giant bursts of laughter, your high-pitched "ya ya ya ya ya ya ya!" and little monkey grunts. You always knew exactly the right time to giggle, or look around the table with your eyebrows raised. It was as if you knew exactly what we were saying - like you were always in on the joke.
Sunday mornings were particularly special. No matter how busy the rest of the weekend might've been, we always set aside time for Sunday brunch. Dadda would pull out the eggs and bacon, Momma would caramelize some brown sugar waffle sticks, and you would split your attention between us, your food and The Backyardigans. Always a VERY motivated eater, you would try a little bit of everything. Eggs - just OK. Bacon? Yummy. Brown sugar waffles...oh...deeeeeeeeeeelicious! Of course, by the end of brunch the syrup would be all over your face, stuck in your blonde curls and between your little fingers. And you loved it. Truthfully, so did I. You smelled so delightful. So warm and sugary. So perfectly Peanut.
That tradition stopped abruptly, without discussion, in January of 2011. Actually, all cooking in our house ceased after January 26, 2011. Dadda and I couldn't bear the quiet. The looming absence at our table. It was just easier to go out, or simply skip meals. Our family had been shattered, so how could we even consider another "family" meal?
Quietly, without fanfare, we have returned to the kitchen. To the table. At first it was simply to eat take out food. Then we found ourselves planning and preparing a diner here, a breakfast there, with no real plan or consistency.
Suddenly, we found ourselves in the kitchen a lot. Mainly to feed The Pickle, now that he's in the high chair stage and moving into pureed fruits, veggies, and cereal. His schedule lends itself to eating with us, pulled up to the table between Momma and Dadda. He watches our conversations, mimicking the movements of our mouths, constantly babbling away, demanding to be a part of the conversation.
On Sunday morning, Dadda pulled out the eggs. And bacon - maple bacon, to be specific. Momma rolled around on the floor with your brother while Dadda made crispy bacon, scrambled eggs and toast. When everything was ready, Momma mashed up a banana for The Pickle, scooted him up to the table and we sat down to eat. As a family. And we toasted, "To Peanut..."
The house still smells like maple syrup from the bacon. I walked in this evening, caught the scent, and felt you. Oh, baby boy, I miss you. I love you. To the mooooooon and back!
|Covered in peanut butter and syrup. Deeeeeeeelightful!|