Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Breakfast Club

     Nick and I are try to develop rituals and memorable occasions that will remain with our kids for a lifetime. The kind of moments that we, now as adults, look back on our childhood and realize that our parents did purposefully. For example, Nick remembers every Sunday morning going to church and then being rewarded with going out for breakfast with his family. I remember for holidays helping prepare two plates overflowing with all the traditional food my mom spent all day making and going next door to deliver them to our two elderly neighbours and visiting with them. We remember the ritual of picking out and cutting down the perfect Christmas tree; we remember family vacations (while not elaborate and expensive, they were more about family time and having fun together); we remember Canada day celebrations at the park; Nick tells stories about snowmobile trips, and I secretly yearn for large family parties back at my grandparents' farm. The point is that we realize now that the memories of these quaint pleasures did not simply occur- our parents went out of their way to make them happen. So the question for us becomes: what kind of things would we like our children to remember as our family rituals and special every day simplicities?
     We love the idea of weekly mass on Sunday followed by breakfast with family. The problem, however, lies within our sleeping patterns. Sunday mass is at 9 am. Mommy finds that a tad too early (I do not have time to chug 2 cups of coffee before a 9 am mass. Jesus should know this!) As well, Noelle has a weird quirk due to her syndrome- she doesn't sleep the whole night through. Ever. She gets up in the middle of the night to play and only falls back to sleep at around 5-6 am. So she sleeps in almost every day. {We are lucky though, some kids like Noelle don't play quietly by themselves when they wake up at night- they yell and scream and no one in their families sleeps straight through the night. I count my blessings daily, as I am fully aware that this blog could easily be called "Sleep Deprived and Permanently Bitchy Mommy"} I think I will have to change our approach- mass on Saturday night at 5:30 and breakfast Sunday once everyone gets up- and I am fully caffeined. So this week we missed mass again but we were determined to go to breakfast. We called friends up and asked them to meet us. We wrangled the kids into their car seats and headed out. As soon as we sat down in our booth we knew it was not going to go as smoothly as hoped. Noelle was in terrible humour, not wanting to sit on her own, whining, making a fuss, getting mad at Nick who was trying to entertain her. Now this breakfast could have degenerated into a totally crappy experience but for three things:
1- We were there with good friends who know Noelle well and were very nonchalant about her behaviour.
2- The restaurant was filled with a high ratio of elderly people who just smiled at Noelle and gave us encouraging winks and made eyes and faces at Dryden to keep him happy.
3- The staff at Mary's are kind hearted people. They brought out toys and different seats and asked what they could do to help. Obviously not their first tantrum...   
     Turns out she was just tired- on the ride home, her head bobbed lower and lower in her car seat until it was resting on her buckle and her soft snores drifted up from the back seat. Our Sunday has been salvaged and we'll try mass and breakfast again next week, because really, our kids deserve the effort and the memories aren't just for them either; when I'm old and teetering on the edge of life, and can only remember one thing- I would choose to remember a lifetime's worth of Sunday mornings.


  1. I can't believe I forgot my favorite family ritual growing up: Sunday night meant home made pizza, 2L of pepsi and Walt Disney on TV! Love...

  2. Memories are made of stuff like this ... family time - it's the time spent together that really matters. In a fast paced disposable world that we live in, filled with take-out food and Nintendo WII it can be hard to cultivate the bonding moments that will be remembered. Bravo to you Rachel for realizing that this is what memory making is made of! Keep with it, you won't regret it!

    And if you would like someone to partner up with you on the scrapbook for these memories and want an evening out - I'm around :o)