My alarm clock went off early on Father’s Day morning. Elliot was wearing ear plugs (the dogs in the farm nearby bark loudly through our open windows at night) and didn’t hear it. Good for me, because that meant I could proceed with my plan: breakfast in bed for him! Soft Eggs with Buttery Herb-Gruyere Toasts. Doesn’t it sound heavenly?!
About 5 minutes into said plan, as I was still studying the list of ingredients for breakfast, I heard our baby crying. Uh oh. This breakfast in bed might not go as well as I’d hoped.
About 20 minutes into said plan, as I was slipping eggs into boiling water, I could hear that Elliott had woken up. Uh oh again. Lena and I went to meet him. “Happy Father’s Day!” I said.
“Oh wow… good morning… I forgot!” he said.
“Well, get ready, because you’re about to have breakfast in bed.”
(I should say right now that thus far in our marriage we have never had breakfast in bed. I was making history!)
I quickly finished cooking the romantic breakfast, but I was disappointed that it didn’t look anything like the pictures on Smitten Kitchen. For one thing, I was missing egg cups. For another, the toasts were kind of burned. And lastly, I only had cheddar, not Gruyere, for the toasts. Sigh.
mine Smitten Kitchen’s
Oh well, Elliott hasn’t ever seen Smitten Kitchen in his life, so he didn’t know the difference. He raised his eyes appropriately in delight when I brought the meal to him on a Polish pottery platter, accompanied by a fresh cup of coffee. Unfortunately, however, breakfast in bed also meant baby in bed, and there was no way we could juggle her and cracking eggs and dipping toasts. We relocated to the balcony.
The summer sun shines right on our balcony in the morning, which means it’s about 80 degrees by 8am. Sweating, squinting, and attempting to enjoy a hot breakfast, I glanced at a clock.
“We’re going to have to eat kind of fast,” I said to the man I was attempting to honor with peace and rest today. “We should leave for church in 10 minutes.”
We managed to leave in 15, still swallowing our coffee as we raced out the door. (In fact some of mine landed on my white dress.) We left so fast, unfortunately, that Elliott forgot his entire wallet. We arrived on base and the security guards shook their heads. “You’re going to have to go home and get your I.D. card. Sorry.”
I forlornly unpacked the diaper bag and my daughter from the car as Elliott sat even more forlornly in the driver’s seat, ready to turn around and go home and be even more late to church than we already were. Just then some friends pulled up behind us and said hello, then kept watching me unload and said, “Did you forgot something? Your I.D., Elliott? I can get you in. Oh, you don’t have any identification on you? Wow. Well… I can still get you in. Don’t worry. I’ll park outside the chapel and come right back for you!”
Bless him. Saved our day just a little bit, he did.
So Father’s Day wasn’t quite the restful, peaceful bliss I’d hoped it would be for Elliott’s sake, but real life rarely is, right? Later that evening we took a hike in the valley below our house. Although the grass is dry and prickly this time of year, we managed to find a quiet spot with a pretty vista and enjoyed one of Elliott’s favorite things: a picnic meal out in nature. He and Lena shared a peach and found a baby frog in a nearby creek. Not a bad end to his Father’s Day!
Dearest Elliott, thank you for being such a patient, attentive, and involved daddy to little Lena. She has no idea how blessed she is. But I have some idea, and I am thankful and grateful every day. We love you!