We’ve started a thing, Hannah and I. Brownies for breakfast. Not just plain chocolate brownies but brownies with walnuts and peanut butter. Yum. It came about because she ate my last cherry turnover one night – my favorite breakfast treat. Looking in the cupboard I came across a walnut brownie mix that I have no idea how it got into my cupboard and told her to make them after school the next day. And she did. I came home after working late to the oh-so-decadent fragrance of warm, gooey, chocolatey brownies still sitting on top of the stove. More yum.
I got busy and forgot about them (I think the smell had me mesmerized into thinking I’d actually consumed one) but when I went to make the coffee I noticed them, still perfectly uncut in the brownie pan. I quickly cut them and placed them under the glass covered cake pedestal that had housed a bundt cake a few weeks ago. Hannah trailed out of her room (the cave), saw them and had one.
“Breakfast,” she said.
And that started it. We’ve since made walnut brownies each week and cut them into cute little squares and placed them prettily on display, the perfect morning sweet.
My kids have always loved brownies. One of my favorite memories of brownie baking is of Sam at around four. He would sit up on the counter as we made brownies. He’d pour in the mix, crack and add the egg, pour in the measured oil and water, and stir. Oh, it was messy and it wasn’t perfect but it was absolutely, perfectly wonderful. One day as we chatted while we went through our process he got really quiet and looked at me seriously.
“Mommy?” (How I miss those days of being Mommy! I cried for a week when I became Mom.)
“Yes, Sam?” A speck of chocolate flour was on his nose and the goopy brownie mix had traveled from his hands to up his arms with a little tale-tell bit around his mouth where he’d licked the stirring spoon.
“Will my wife know how to make brownies?”
Be still my heart! Where is this coming from? Ah, yes. Often when we prayed together at night I would ask God to bless the girls that would someday be the wives of our boys. I would pray for them to have good homes, with parents who loved them, and to know safety. I would pray for them to know Jesus…for them to come to know Him. I would pray for God to prepare these little girls to be the women He had planned for them to be so that they could be the best wives for these little boys. And then I’d pray for the boys to be good men. And Sam had listened.
“I don’t know, my Sammie Lamb, but I hope so. Not all girls are raised to know how to cook, but if she wants, we can teach her. ”
His face frowned in concentration as he contemplated something so foreign to what he himself knew. I was blessed to be able to be at home part of the day, to be able to cook and bake and savor the fleeting, precious moments while my babies were young. Every day brought something new and warm and amazing to discover about my children, and every moment brought them closer to growing up.
He gave the mix a vigorous stir and handed it to me to pour into the pan and hung his head sadly, “Okay… but she needs to be able to make brownies.”
I tried to hide the giggle that bubbled at his seriousness. “Well, son, if she can’t, you can. You know how to make brownies.”
His gaze shot to mine and a slow grin spread along with a decisive nod. “Yes, I can. I can make the brownies.” And with that he was off the counter, racing to find Aaron and get back to their Star Wars Battle Station Galactica play set. I knew that as soon as they heard the timer buzz they’d both be there, ready for milk and warm brownies.
Brownies aren’t just for breakfast; they’re an offering, a delicious prayer that my grown up babies will find that safe, sure, and giving love with a special someone God has prepared for them.
Someone who will take the time to go into the kitchen of life with them, open a box of brownie mix, and together add the ingredients that are as necessary for brownies as for marriage. Faith in God like eggs to hold it all together; purpose like water that converts sucrose to glucose and maltose to glucose, to make committed decisions and thoughtful choices that lead them toward their shared goals; and ardor like oil to moisten their lives with laughter, adventures, and memories. Maybe they’ll throw in some nuts for fun, or some peanut butter for whimsy. And as the years go by, they will stir and stir, pour and bake, and create something more wonderful than they could ever imagine, just because all the right things were added.
Because without those key ingredients, a brownie is just not a brownie.
It’s only Monday and the walnut-peanut butter-brownie pile has dwindled noticeably. I admit nothing. Hmmm. Better get the brownie mixing bowl out again. Can’t start the day without a good breakfast brownie!