Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lessons from Serving (Pancakes)

Today was an unusual day at our house because most of the family members left for activities before dawn. I found myself snuggled next to my 10 year old son, Joshua, and was languishing in the comfort of a cloudy morning, a warm electric blanket, and the way Josh's little boy hands fit so sweetly in mine.
I'd been craving some of my not-too-famous but truly delicious blueberry-buttermilk pancakes and made my way into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. While standing at the griddle with the batter pitcher poised, I decided to be a little quirky and write Josh's name in pancake batter. I watched as the imperfect letters began to puff up on the griddle and wondered what had possessed me to be so silly. The letters would not all fit on one plate in such a way that one could read them; the "j" would be backward if not positioned properly on the plate; the "h" was fatter than the other letters. Maybe Josh would wonder why I couldn't just be a normal mom and make round pancakes.
Never one to waste anything, I decided to use a serving platter instead of a plate and try my luck anyway. I carefully arranged the letters (ensuring that the "j" was placed in the correct position), poured a little cup of syrup, and took my breakfast offering to my son. At first, he rubbed his sleepy eyes and seemed to be unimpressed with such simple fare as pancakes. But as he noticed the unusual plate and the letters spelling his name, his face erupted into a grin and he exclaimed, "Awesome!".
Why did I doubt myself? Why did I question the teachings that I have known for so long? The lesson was again impressed upon me that it doesn't matter if our gifts are plain or fancy, if they are perfect or "individualized". What matters is that we take time sometimes to give a little of ourselves just so that others can have a better day.