Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blueberry Pancakes

We make a weekly menu, and each person in the family has his or her assigned night.  Tonight, the 3-year-old had selected pancakes.  This is his regular request, a welcome change after several months of having spaghetti every Thursday night.  Now I'm getting very good at making pancakes.

In an effort to change things up, I decided to get creative with some frozen blueberries.  I made "belly-button" pancakes (little dudes with one berry in the middle of each), a heart pancake with berries in a heart (for my daughter), a smiling bear (for my son), and even pancakes with each of our initials.  I was having so much fun and really looking forward to sharing with my family.

When I called my family to the table, the first thing my husband said was, "Oh, you put blueberries in them.  Are there any without?"  The first thing my 5-year-old daughter said was, "I see circles.  Can I have a belly button pancake instead?"  The first thing my 3-year-old son said was, "I don't want pancakes!  I don't want blueberries!  I want strawberries!"

Needless to say, this was not the general response I was anticipating.  My heart started racing and I started to feel tears welling up.  All I could do was get up from the table and head upstairs for some quiet time.  I laid on my bed and tried to breathe deeply.  I wasn't sure if this was a moment when I should just let myself feel and cry, or if I needed to breathe through it and accept the reality of the moment.

I was so proud of my cute little blueberry pancakes.  As I sat in the dark and thought about it, I realized that I had anticipated a reaction without letting the others know what I needed.  They were all being honest with me, but they were not feeling what I wanted them to feel.  I was taking their lack of enthusiasm personally.

The process of making the pancakes and putting the berries in them was a lot of fun for me.  It was an experience of beauty to be a little bit creative with food.  Being challenged by my family was ultimately beautiful.  It forced me to recognize that my project was an expression of love for my family:  I have put the love out there, but I cannot control how it is received.

How often do I do or say something with hopes of praise or recognition, only to fall flat?  I was really anticipating excitement, but none came.  The challenge is to rest on enjoying my pancakes, and enjoying the fun of making them.  External recognition and rewards are fun and uplifting, but they cannot be the end purpose of my actions.  It comes back around to living in the moment.  As I was making the pancakes, I was anticipating what would happen when everyone came to the table, rather than dwelling where I was.

Next time, I will try to simply live in the moment of making them and enjoying the process.  When it comes time to eat, I will live in the moment of knowing that I have nourished my family in love, and enjoy eating the fruits of my labor.  If the others don't enjoy it or react less-than-kindly, I will accept the feedback for the next time, breathe deeply and focus on my own enjoyment of the food.

Darn it, belly-button pancakes are fun and silly, and therefore are a beautiful thing!

I deserve BEAUTY in my life!

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