The other day I woke up to the sound of cereal being poured. I’m a light sleeper, and just the tiny sound of cereal hitting the bowl was enough to make me get up. Especially because I knew that my oldest daughter, five years old, was up by herself.
She didn’t wait for Christmas to get up early. Since she wakes up early almost like clockwork, she’s my alarm clock. But like other alarm clocks, she seems to be getting earlier and earlier (especially as Christmas got closer and closer).
This particular morning she woke up just a little too early. I placed her in front of the electronic babysitter to watch Sesame Street. It’s my version of hitting the snooze button.
Usually what will happen is the other kids will hear the TV. But they don’t just sit and watch, they come and get me to watch with them, and so I get up, turn off the boob tube, and get them breakfast.
But today, we all slept through the TV. This left my oldest up alone, for a long time. My oldest daughter is an intuitively creative person. So when I heard the cereal hitting the bowl, I feared for the worst. She might be getting herself some breakfast, I thought to myself, but that was the best scenario. I also knew that she might be going beyond getting herself breakfast, and the cereal might be involved in a grander scheme.
That was the case. As I hustled into the kitchen, there she was, with not one but two bowls of cereal, with milk, and spoons, and two pieces of bread with some sort of butter on them, on a TV tray.
“I made you and mommy breakfast,” she said in explanation. She had selected two different kinds of cereal, one for me and one for my wife, and had them set up on a tray ready to give us breakfast in bed. Fortunately I got up before she tried moving the tray. My wife’s bowl of cereal had about two spoonfuls of cereal and about two cups of milk, but mine was just the right ratio. Not bad for a first try of making breakfast in bed. I’m just glad she didn’t try to put the bread in the toaster, or try frying bacon or something like that.
I helped her with the tray into the bedroom, where my wife and I enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast in bed. That day she was our own little Santa Claus.
I like the myth of Santa Claus. Besides the creepy factor that someone can magically enter your house at any time, it’s just a plain fun idea that someone random knows and loves you enough to leave you large presents once a year. I like it.
Most of the time, however, you don’t get presents from total strangers interested in your happiness and enjoyment. No, you get presents from people who love you, and they give you presents because they love you. And sometimes all they have to give is breakfast in bed. That’s not bad at all.