6 days a week my alarm blares at 0358, 0400, 0405, and quite possibly a few times after that as well. I claw my way through morning breath, utter exhaustion from staying up late reading, and atrocious bed head, so that at approximately 0425 there will be a lb and a half of bacon sizzling in the oven, and an egg omelet the size of a watermelon cooking on the stove. Breakfast sandwiches are made, fruit is cut, and prep for the rest of the day commences. This is my routine.
On Sunday, all of that changes. The alarm is silent until at least 0800 and I have been known to snooze it until 0900, even 0910 on any particularly lazy sunday morning. On sunday the air is fresher, the birds seem more chipper (yes, most of them have flown south for the winter… yeah ok, pretty much all of them.), and life is glorious on so many fundamental levels. Sunday is Brunch Day. Morning ritual thrown to the wind, and the daily homemade soup a thing of yesterday’s musings, I create a masterpiece of breakfast delights. On one particular sunny Sunday morning our AB (Able Body Seaman) requests Chocolate chip pancakes.
‘Make ’em with a smile for me, eh brit?’ he says, smashing his wet, snow sodden, boots upon the seat next to him. ‘I could use a pick me up, ya know?’
‘You sure? The ratio of…’ I start, before he cuts me off. (yea, he’s rude like that:))
‘Yeah. I’m sure. Make it rain smiles up in hurr!!’ he shoots me a thug face and I laugh before going back into the galley to whip up some happy pancakes.
The process is straight forward. Pour batter. Place chips in semblance of joyous abandon, and repeat. Thee pancakes go down, bubbling and lightly browned before being flipped, and flipped once more upon a plate. These three pancakes look happy, even with their slightly smudged melty mouths, and their beady little chocolate eyes. He thanks me, I take the rest of the orders, and then create my own pancake. My pancake is different. No smile graces its countenance, no eyes wink up at me from its pale bubbled surface; the chocolate litters it’s face like rain drops on dry pavement. Soon they sink into the depths, never to be seen again save by the depths of my gaping maw.
By the time I am seated, most everyone has gone through a good portion of their food, and the AB, having finished his “specialty” plate with everything on it, is scooting his own pancakes closer to his chest. We dig in right around the same time, and my face, lit up with an appreciative smile, is only off set by his sodden pout from two seats over.
‘What’s up smiles? Not living up to your expectations?’ I ask. He turns to me with a snarky frown and sighs deeply.
‘There aren’t any chocolate chips in these pancakes…’ he responds sourly.
‘Same number of chocolate chips as I have, sport…Maybe you shouldn’t have gotten those smiles after all.’ I wink and slide the next, perfectly balanced bite into my mouth. A ratio of chocolate and fluffy pancake-y goodness any one would envy.
In life we all have bad days, bad weeks; hell, we probably even have bad years, and sometimes it feels like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. I’m not saying that we can’t grin and bear it, or that putting ourselves in a positive frame of mind, isn’t a good idea. But, sometimes, just sometimes, we have to throw out our chips and let them fall where they may. In my experience, Life has a way of letting us enjoy a bit of sweetness in every bite.