Breakfast of Champions

breakfast, championI used to fix myself a bowl of cereal every morning.

I hate cereal.

I hated it as a child; I hated it when I fixed it for years as an adult; and I hate it now, whether Cheerios or Shredded Wheat or Raisin Bran.

My mom is the reason I hate cereal (she’s smiling and protesting at the same time as she reads this, I bet.) But really, that’s what our “big fights” were about when I was a teenager.

“Pammy, you can’t go to school without breakfast.”

“I hate Wheaties,” I’d moan.

“Wheaties are good for you. Look at your brother – he’s on his third bowl.”

“Well, he’s a champion. I’m not,” I’d retort. Sarcastic for a 15-year-old, but my brother was a successful swimmer – trophies all over the house – so a bit of sisterly bile sprang out sometimes.

Maybe he’s the reason I hate cereal!

No matter, at 16 I discovered chocolate Instant Breakfast.  I’d drink it at 7:30 am in front of my mom’s scowling face. She’d explain to my dad: “At least she’s not going to school on an empty stomach.”

And then, fast forward to years later.cereal, breakfast

I found myself making my children eat cereal before school. The difference was that they LIKED it. I still didn’t, but I felt like I had to be a good role model, so I’d scarf down a small bowl while my son and daughter cheerfully compared cheerio holes every gosh darn morning.

Until suddenly, a year ago, I stopped pouring milk into my shredded wheat bowl mid-stream and said out loud: “why the hell are you doing this?!” I threw out the cereal and milk and the next day bought a fresh loaf of wheat bread.

Now my routine is a slice of toast with a dollop of peanut butter and strawberry jam on top.

I’m sure there’s a bigger message in here somewhere, like:

  • we adults get so stuck in our routines, we need to stop and think about what we really want. Or,
  •  life is short, give up what is unnecessary. Or,
  • live life to the fullest – enjoy every minute, and every morsel.

But really, all I’m saying is that I’m so much happier with my mornings.

What gets YOU going first thing? A bowl of Fruit Loops? A piece of chocolate pie? I dare you to divulge your breakfast secrets here.

toast, breakfast, free will