Breakfast at Every Meal

Mr. Spock, illogical, lifeI’m not great at looking at things logically. I’m not good at anything that entails studying one point and logistically figuring out how it’s supposed to connect to the other point. I prefer the intricacies in between. The emotional connections, let’s say, instead of the linear ones.

That’s why I’ve been a bit morose this week.  A logistical, practical woman would think, it’s my son’s birthday– hooray.  I, on the other hand, have been teary-eyed. Thirty-five years ago my little boy was born 10 days too late and too big to come out the ‘normal’ way. I tease him that it explains his personality.

Back then, as labor pains progressed and I was stretched out on the surgery table, I insisted that the doctor could not perform the caesarian until the mirror above me was placed just so. Just so I could watch the baby’s birth. I was tied down and could only see the ceiling and eyes staring out of the doctor’s mask.  But I needed some control, so no cutting until the mirror was adjusted.

And then there he was, my son, being pulled from the wound in my abdomen, the umbilical cord around his neck, hands pulling it down and over the baby’s shoulders and body, and then a scream.

Mom & Son.

Mom & Son.

The baby’s scream, not mine. I’ve been forever grateful that I was able to view my boy born from me, because otherwise, at times, I’d wonder – “did this kid really come from me?”

mothers and sons, adult children

Son and Mom.

But he was an affectionate child. Hard as rock many times, but soft and cuddly as cotton others. And on his birthday, I think about the years of teaching, loving, coddling, training, tickling, yelling, pushing, pulling him into adulthood. Never easy, yet glorious each day. And now, he is a 35-year-old man who loves his mom, but looks at things logically, not emotionally. His mother’s day card to me is sitting on his dresser, still unsent; his phone calls come erratically; his love is felt, rather than heard.

Maggie SmithSo on my son’s birthday this week, I thought of the words of 81-year-old actress Maggie Smith during a 60 Minutes interview. Asked how she liked aging, she responded, “A friend says to me it’s like having breakfast at every meal.”

I was puzzled, until she explained further. “I can’t for the life of me figure out how life can go by so fast. I blink, and the next day has arrived.”

roller coaster, life, agingOh, yeah, I get that. My children are in their 30s now, for god’s sake. What happened to my life? There is no linearity in aging – it’s an emotional rollercoaster that goes up and down, faster and faster, getting us, well, where exactly?

I don’t believe there’s a logical, linear answer to this question. I suppose that’s why I don’t believe in straight lines.


. . . what's for breakfast?


117 thoughts on “Breakfast at Every Meal

    • I take that as a wonderful compliment – and from a scientist! I’d like to quote your last paragraph in your “About” page, because it talks about science and ‘humanness’ so beautifully: “And here’s the thing, science is of the mind, the heart and of the soul, its human, scientists live and breathe and feel, as any writer, poet and musician, as any one of us, all part of humanity, all hearts sing, are pulled and twisted, tied in knots, all live by emotions, led by beliefs and conscience, it takes us all to make a planet worth living on.” EDC == In other words, we live and breath non-linearly, but we sure try to make scientific sense of it all. 🙂

      • I’m so glad I found the right words to compliment you…and for you to quote something of mine is…well I don’t have the words other than a heartfelt thank you. You know I’ve spent most of my scientific career simplifying complex phenomena to ‘linear equations’ mostly to do with how a chemical moves from its point of application to its site of action, be it a human body, a plant, an insect, even the environment; most recently mosquitoes , an obvious threat and need for new methods of control, and for all the science the thing that always gives me a buzz and sense of wonder is the passion and belief of the diverse teams I’ve been a part of to make a difference, to do something for humanity.

  1. What a great post! I love it! My kids are now 12 and 10 and I don’t know where the time went. What I am finding difficult is that my parents are getting older and recently turned 71. How did that happen? While I am grateful that they are doing so well, they are also slowing down and are not as physically strong as they used to be. While it’s quite fun watching the kids grow up, it’s not so good watching my parents age and I potentially reaching a point where they don’t remember breakfast or who we are.
    xx Rowena

    • Thanks for adding a whole other perspective on this ‘Breakfast at every meal’ concept, Rowena. I know what you mean: I always think of my parents as the young vibrant beings they were, raising me into adulthood. Now, one is gone and one has dementia. But you know what? My mom’s eyes show that she still wants the full feast called LIFE. Thanks so much for your comment here!

  2. Pam, I love this post! Beautifully written. My awesome-you-take-my-breath-away son is 9 and going into 4th grade. Where did the time go? Congrats to you and happy birthday to your son. Enjoy the pancakes. 😍

  3. Pam, Your post struck all the chords with me. My oldest son is 42 and youngest is 37. Their birthday’s do bring me up short and make me aware of the passage of time. Having breakfast every day is a clever metaphor for the sensation.

  4. Happy Birthday to your son (and you)! Time is definitely not linear. And it’s strange how we can remember something like the birth of one’s child years ago so vividly (vividly, but also like looking through a tunnel), but not remember something from the day before.

    Hope you had a wonderful birthday breakfast!

    • I’m so grateful that the ‘big’ events in our life, like the birth of a child, remain embedded in our memory forever! I can still remember the conversation between the doctor and nurses as they started moving around ‘stuff’ in my abdomen to be able to pull my baby out. How cool is THAT?
      Thanks so much for your comment and visiting here – I so enjoyed your ‘labor’ poem!

    • Well, you got my imagination going. I’m writing a “fantasy’ story in my mind about having the ability to hit the ‘Pause’ button, but every time we pause something, we lose another event that would have occurred in our lives. Hmm, that would be an interesting dilemma – do we still pause?

  5. I’m on my way to visit my 40 year old. Thanks so much, Pam, for reminding me of those early years. Do those young men still live, or are they gone forever as maturity builds? That is the question I’m currently chewing on. I’d love just a little glimmer of the 4 year old again.

  6. sixth grade: “Will this day ever end?” 71: “where in the world did the day go — and — i haven’t gotten done anything today — — or at least that I can remember. ‘Remember?’ ahh yes, that cruel phrase. Please pass the maple syrup for my golden brown pancakes. Dream on, here’s your steel cut oatmeal without the additives —- —- no! don’t put sugar on it!”

  7. Trust Maggie Smith to put it so awesomely! My dear, wonderful son will be turning 50 this fall. That´s when you need a wake-up call!! No amount of logic will explain how that happened so fast. Love how you insisted on having the mirror adjusted. Enjoy every minute of your son. ❤

  8. My kids are in their 30’s too, Pam. Where did the time go???? Then, I think that if all goes well I’m only 2/3rds of the way done. That means that there is still a LOT of time left. I’m working on slowing down time, following my dreams (whatever that means), and living with a full heart. It’s not linear, I think, because it is up to us what we make of it and each day is ours to design. Do something today that makes you glad to be alive. Enjoy!

    • I can’t wait to have you over for breakfast! Some coffee or tea with those pancakes? I can fresh squeeze some orange juice too. I have a feeling we’ll be at the breakfast table, talking up a storm, for many hours! 🙂

  9. What a great line by Maggie and it’s very true. Fortunately breakfast is my favorite meal but still…..
    Happy Birthday to your son. Seems like you should be very proud…:)

    • I think we parents are proud to see our children rise up to ‘make it’ in this not-so-easy world. But we also see the struggles in that ‘grown-up’ space, and wish for them a little more of the childhood pleasures they used to enjoy. Okay, enough philosophizing. I’m off for my toast and tea. :-0

  10. Where does time go, I have no idea . Life is like a roller coaster, going up and down very fast and before you know it , it’s over. My son is 40. Your posts always makes my day, Pam.
    I hope you have a great weekend babysitting your grandchildren.

    • Your son is FORTY??!! I’m just flummoxed by my active, successful, busy followers who have survived the raising of children and now are eating breakfast three times a day with gusto. 🙂 Honestly, I’m always quite disappointed when I admit to people that I have children in their 30s. I expect them to say, ‘oh, no it’s not possible you have children that old.’ Instead, they just smile and accept my pronouncement. Shoot, Inside my head, I’m still 35 myself!

  11. Both of my girls are in their 40’s and I wonder as well about how fast the times seems to have flown. My granddaughters are teens, and the time flew even faster. I look at them, and I am so thankful that in such a short time, I have been blessed. Yes, every meal is breakfast for me too.

  12. I love breakfast, any time. I also love dinner stuff at breakfast. My son is 36, his children nearly bordering on gasp, teen years. It’s been in the flash of an eye.

    • I love that expression, Karen. “In the flash of an eye” – so true, but don’t you wonder where it came from? Knowing you, you’re going to find out! Now, I’m trying to blink my eyes more slowly, but that’s hard work! 🙂

  13. I’m constantly stunned at the way time flies so fast. I was talking to my neighbor yesterday and she said ‘we don’t age – our kids do’ 😀 Happy Birthday to your beautiful son xxxxx

  14. That overdue baby turned out to be a special, complex young man, Pam. Happy birthday to your son, as well as celebrating your choice to really see your son born! You will forever be glad since it made a lasting impression on your brain cells, emotional and physical ties. 🙂

    • You’re so right! Watching my son pulled out of my body is one of those memories that got etched into my soul, so despite all that I’ve forgotten over the years, this memory will never be displaced.

  15. By the way, breakfast is a great food, any time of day but I absolutely love Maggie Smith’s quote!
    You look like a mother of an 18 year old, getting ready for college. Not kidding you, either!
    My 3 children are presently 36, 34 and 30, Pam. Yikes! I have been starting a new relationship which everyone but my brothers think will fail due to my being older by 12 years. I believe we are~ “only as old as we feel!” ❤

    • Age difference? BAH. (And I can bet you anything Maggie Smith would agree.) My mom dated a man 16 years her senior for half a decade. It IS all in the attitude. Go for it, and ENJOY!!!

  16. Most parents say the same thing as you. Where did the time go? We all know that time does not stand still and aging occurs much faster than we realize. If only time stood still but we learn to relish our time spent with our children and can only hope that they feel the same love for us that we feel for them.

    Lovely post which gave your readers something to think about.

  17. I love breakfast for dinner or lunch or Linner or brunch… I love it in the morning and I love it at night.. I love it in darkness and I love it in light! I love breakfast no matter the time! I love it every day of the week, whenever the clock chimes!! he he he~
    I often wonder where the time goes. I can’t believe I have been married 30 years in less than a month and my daughter is 28!! How is it that we aren’t 25 anymore? 😦

    • You are the champion of breakfast poems! I recited your poem this morning with my peanut butter and blueberry jam on toast. 🙂
      The good thing about the ‘aging’ thing is that we don’t. (Look our age, that is.) I bet people sometimes think you and your daughter are sisters. Looking good is the best revenge to aging. xo

      • People don’t believe that she is 28. She looks very young for her age. She will be carded until she is 40. When she and I went to Key West for Spring Break together, no one believed she was my daughter or that she was 25! But we do look so much alike, we can’t deny each other! LOL! If I could just lose some of this blasted weight, I would look a little younger. However, there is a fine line when losing too much at our age… it will make you look older than your years too…. it is a 2 edged sword *sigh*

  18. Hi Pam. I can’t say as I know what it’s like to have a grown son, but I do know what it’s like to age. If I’d been able to have children, they’d be grown by now. I do know that men don’t express their emotions quite like we women. Of course, I can tell you know that since you are married to a “sensible, practical” engineer. I can’t imagine how you must feel seeing your baby at the age of 35. I find the emotions overwhelming just seeing my nieces and nephews all grown up and with their own kids now, let alone one’s own child.

    I’d like to say I’m a totally analytical, logical person. I cannot function without logic. I don’t understand why people don’t use logic … but at the same time, I’m a highly emotional person, too. I’m a paradox, I guess. I’m not into horoscopes, really, but Libras are all about balance, and that’s what I need. If I don’t have balance, I panic (literally). So, emotions combined with logic play a big part in my life. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I understand your emotions on the day of your son’s 35th birthday. Hugs to you. 😀

    • I like your paradoxes. I think all humans are a paradox in some ways. Aging is a paradox too, as in, ‘how the heck did I get this old?’ Ha ha. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Lori.

  19. In 1969, when my oldest was born, I just did everything the doctors and nurses told me to do. Those were the days of no eating once labor started, and my labor lasted 21 hours that time. Congratulations to you for insisting on the mirror.

    It’s almost harder to see your children break into a new decade than to do it yourself. I remember one day when my mom and I were sitting in a restaurant, she looked at me and asked, frowning, “Where did you get those wrinkles?” In my defense, the light coming through the window was harsh, but also, I was well into my sixties. Maybe she hadn’t noticed. She looked truly shocked.

    • Oh my, I had two different reactions to your comment in my post. First, I know, wasn’t it ridiculous how we listened and did everything we were told, particularly by doctors, ‘back then.’ I was quite the rebel with the operating room mirror – one of the first times I spoke up.
      Second, laughing laughing at your mom’s comment to you. Sorry, but what a funny scene, and one that I think many of us have gone through in some way. A few weeks ago I noticed laugh lines around my daughter’s eyes, and I felt the shock your mom must have. (However, I didn’t say anything to my daughter!!)

  20. Oh, I know! But there’ll never be enough breakfasts!
    Congratulations on your son’s birthday, and getting your children to adulthood. It’s a marvelous achievement. And I love the look of those pancakes. I’ll have a double helping please. 🙂

  21. Powerful Post Pam, and I’m so with you on the non-linear thing…it’s the in between bits, the hedgerows and meadows around and to the side of the A to B that bring the most beauty and interest. And if that’s what aging is – hooray! Breakfast is my favorite meal! So that’s croissants and orange juice for breakfast 1, the full English for breakfast 2, and pancakes with nutella and banana for breakfast 3…bring it on! Enjoy celebrating your son, and you as a mum 🙂 Love and blessings, Harula xxx

  22. My kids are 13 and 11, and I always get sad at this time of year because it’s the end of a school year, which feels like it’s never going to end when we’re in, like, February. Then, bam!, June is here and they’ve graduated another grade level. Then I get all mad at myself for wishing the time to pass quickly just so we can get through science, or bullies at lunchtime, or stressing out over tests.

    Time is a weird thing. I feel its swiftness and its lulling simultaneously. I just try to spend each day focusing on at least one wonderful thing, try to seal it into my memory, and hope that I’ll always have it, no matter how time goes by.

    Lovely post!

    • Your words gave me goosebumps. You said it just right, time includes a swiftness AND a lulling that seduces us into thinking everything will remain the same. Enjoy your kids during the summer- the sweet lulling season…

  23. It is hard to be a feeler and I get why you are feeling morose. 35 years is a milestone. But look at the wonderful job you did raising him and he may be linear, but he shows his love in his way. Lovely post.

  24. I definitely can relate. Have 4 children the youngest turning 19, and I do wonder “where does the time go”. Just the other day we were watching home movies on VHS (pretty much obsolete now) of the kids when they were small. It would be cool if we were able to click “pause” and keep them at a certain stage in life. Each stage is indeed wonderful though.
    Great pictures of you and your son, both as a tiny infant and as an adult in his thirties. Happy 35th birthday to him! 🙂

    • VHS! Now that does bring back memories. I love the idea of the pause button, or how about just the ability to hop into that VHS and go back there if only for a little while? 😳

  25. My son just turned 30. Oh, do I identify with your words and your feelings!

    My boy was too big to get out the “normal” way, too. He was supposed to be at least 2 weeks late, but I couldn’t take carrying around a toddler inside of me, so I had my husband massage my feet 2 days before his due date. He came on schedule by c-section because my water broke, not because he was ready. Nearly 24 hours of labor. Nearly 10 pounds. Feels like only a few weeks ago. Sigh…

  26. Late getting to your post, but it was so worth it! Your son sounds quite a bit like mine.
    I am also a mother to thirty-somethings so I know how you’re feeling. On my daughter’s birthday a couple of days ago, I reminded her that she was now the age I was when I married her stepfather (and she was my maid of honour). “Oh yeah!” she said. To which I responded: “You thought I was old then, didn’t you?” She laughed.
    Age is relative, my dear! 🙂

  27. Another good one! I find each day racing by…and can remember a time when I wished time would go faster. On another note, my son will be 35 next March. Now that feels like an impossibility. Weren’t we just 35?

  28. My oldest son is 44. I think about my children the moment I open my eyes and think the same thing – What? How did that happen? I’m not old enough to have a child that old. But at 69, I am.

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