Breakfast Brownies

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!

Who’s Talking Now?

“Do you think they have them there?”  I asked my daughter as we pulled out of the driveway, going to find a little sock like thingy that attachs to the key ring and holds the car remote with the broken plastic piece that allows you to normally attach it to the key ring.

Hannah, texting while answering me, “I don’t know everything in their inventory.  We’ll have to see.”

“Ah,” I said, “but we expect you to know these things as you are the only one of us who has been there.”

She put down her phone and stared at me suspiciously, “And who is this “we” who expects me to know this?”

“Just me, myself and I,” I countered, thrilled to have that comeback.

She smiled and picked back up her phone that had buzzed.  “That would be the trio that has the crazy conversations.”

She knows me too well.  I am notorious for talking to myself, arguing with myself, questioning myself, answering myself, and maintaining a running conversation with just me, myself and I.  When I drive, I constantly talk to cars and streetlights.  I talk to the computer when it doesn’t do what I want it to do or when I’m trying to figure out what to do when I hit something I shouldn’t and the screen does its own thing.  I talk to the cats, but they listen and sometimes meow back.       

When my office was a cubicle in a large room with others, my poor coworkers were constantly saying “What?” or “Are you talking to me or you?”  When one was moved to another area he told me he had picked up my habit and now others were always asking him those questions.  When I told him I was sorry to have passed that on, he said, “Actually, I’m not, because it’s helped me sometimes.”

I think, seriously, that I am ADD and self-talk helps me focus on what I need to do, my thought process, my action plan one step at a time.  If I don’t talk myself through my tasks, I get lost as my mind flits, runs, flirts and wrestles with dozens of unrelated and irrelevant  thoughts and I find myself off task, off track, out of focus and floundering to get back to whatever it was I was supposed to be doing, or thinking.   I seem to only be focused when I am writing or talking – only at those times do the flighty trio of me, myself and I somewhat collaborate and stay, if not on the same line, at least on the same page.  

I have had people tell me this should make me a quick comeback person, but that is so not true for me.  I rarely, as in never,  have quick comebacks.  I’m the person who thinks of the comeback at 4 in the morning three weeks later.  And by then it is so good that I could kick myself for not having it when it could have been useful!  I wonder if talking to myself so much makes it difficult for me to respond in a timely manner to others?  I seem to fail miserably at sparkly social interaction outside my very own trio.  Someone gave me a magnet one time that said, “I live in my own little world, but it’s okay – they know me there.”  I can identify with that one. 

I also talk aloud to the Lord – Jesus Christ – and I know with all my heart He listens. 

I don’t buy into the positive self-talk stuff but I do buy into what God says about who we are and His promises.  When I googled talking to oneself aloud, however, this little tidbit came up.  “When you talk out loud to yourself you cause yourself to focus intently on the challenge, situation, or circumstance. This activity increases the likelihood of obtaining a desirable solution more quickly. It is easy to daydream nonproductively for an hour or two, but it only wastes time and doesn’t give you the results you’d like to have. It is incredibly powerful hearing your own voice emotionally proclaiming what you intend and expect to accomplish. Talking out loud to yourself can go a long way in helping you to move on.”
— Bill Wayne (from The Power of Talking Out Loud to Yourself)

 I actually like that because to me it makes sense. 

As Hannah, who is a student driver, was driving the other day a car seemed as if it were going to pull out in front of her. 

“No, car, don’t you do that!” she said and then glanced at me, grinning.  “Don’t say anything.” 

I couldn’t because I was laughing. 

When we came to the stoplight she looked over at me and laughed.  “Oh my gosh, I’m going to be just like you, aren’t I?  I’m already talking to cars and I don’t even have my license.”

 And the trio approves.