Saturday mornings at my current home with the Lews are prime “pancake catching” time.
Other homes where I have lived include fresh orange juice on Christmas morning (Lemons), Maple bacon doughnuts shared with the neighbors (Wardells), and “Golden Waffles” at the Grandparents. Mom’s house has Mexican breakfast these days. The whole point is that it is a beautiful thing to be invited into other people’s homes. Living in someone’s house makes both of us vulnerable–they see me and where I’m at and all my annoying quirks, and I see them, their marriage, their parenting, their conflicts and resolutions. But we also get the mutual benefit of added family. I get the fun and refining of having siblings. I get the warmth and fellowship of games and late night conversations and early morning meetings at the coffee pot. They get someone extra to love on their kids, and to be part of their circle. Living in other people’s homes has brought a more profound joy than I thought possible. At first I was embarrassed and impatient and feeling immature. Now I realize it’s a mutual blessing and not a burden to either party. It’s just an opportunity to learn community in a new way, and learn to be together, to bear one another’s burdens, to be the big family that we already are.
There is currently a tiny human who follows me around calling me “Kashi”, and I don’t think my heart could hold any more delight than it already does. When I lived in a lock-off in Alaska my first winter, the Sanner boys (1 and 3 at the time) would wait on the deck that was over my front door and wait for me to walk up the driveway coming home from work. When I lived with the Hallers, ages and ages ago, their little guy started calling me “Honey” because that’s what he heard his dad call his mom. When a toddler accepts you as one of their tribe, it’s the ultimate “in”, don’t you think? When a tiny human comes running toward me in the morning in his footie jammies, coming in for a hug and a bite of my breakfast, there is no other acceptance into family quite like it.
The Lews do pancakes on Saturday mornings. And in order to get to eat your pancakes, you have to catch them. As in, Ed takes them off the skillet and flips them across the kitchen at you. He’s gentle with the little guys, but Becca has to go long for hers. It’s been a family tradition since his childhood, and it’s pretty much the best thing about the week in my opinion. It sets a tone of fun and rest and family time. It reminds me that not everything has to be serious…laughter and silliness can be so life-restoring! Plus, seeing a 3 year old yelp with excitement is just the best ever.
Pancake catching. Joining in family circles. Laughter. Being added to other families. Breaking bread together. There’s a deep thought here, but now I am distracted and just want some bacon and coffee and maple syrup…