I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.

Listening Between the Lines

Seriously, if you were a teenage boy, which would you prefer?

cinnamon rollsA fresh-made batch of cinnamon rolls?

egg casseroleOr an egg casserole?

I thought I had this one in the bag.  I mean, who wouldn’t want homemade cinnamon rolls?

Today in Finley’s birthday.  I asked him several times over the past week what he wanted for breakfast on his birthday.  When the kids were younger, it was almost always either Lucky Charms or Fruit Loops, two cereals I rarely purchased because of the incredibly high sugar content.  Now that they are older sometimes they want homemade pancakes, or an omelet, or something else made especially for them.

“Hey, Fin, what do you want for breakfast on your birthday?” I asked any number of times.

“I dunno,” he would answer.

“Is there something I can pick up at the store?” I asked, hopefully.

“I dunno,” he would answer.

Then, later in the day, he would say to me, in the course of a totally different conversation, “Remember that egg casserole we had at the Smith’s house?  That was really good.”

“Yeah,” I would answer.  “Her recipe was different from mine.”

“You should get it from her,” he would say.

And, like a dolt, I never made the connection.

In fact, just yesterday, I came up with a brilliant plan for his birthday.  “How about cinnamon rolls?” I asked him.  They are a favorite of mine and Deirdre’s and, well, just about everyone’s.

“Yeah, sure,” he said.

Quite pleased with myself, I began making sure that I had all the ingredients, and mentally setting aside the time to do the various steps.

Later that day, however, Fin asked again, “Did you ever get that recipe from the Smiths?”

“No,” I said, measuring out flour and yeast for cinnamon rolls. “I’ll email her right now before I forget.”

As I typed out my email message, it hit me.  I needed to listen between the lines.  All week I had been asking, but not really listening.  He wanted the Smith’s egg casserole for his birthday.

I emailed my friend, and she sent back one of those little-bit-of-this-and-little-bit-of-that recipes, the kind I hate because I lack confidence in the kitchen.

“Add some milk,” the recipe read.

“How much?” I asked.

“Layer in some cheese,” the recipe read.

“Gah!” I yelled.

For Fin, I tried.  It may not be as good as Mrs. Smith’s, but, if all else fails, at least I have some cinnamon rolls.




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This entry was posted on January 22, 2013 by in Family conversation, Postaday 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , .

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