My dad eats half an avocado every morning. He wakes up and leaves the house before dawn, but still, every morning, he slices an avocado and fries an egg on a special skillet that no one cleans right but him. There’s usually some sort of specialty cheese in his fixings. He consumes his breakfast in a hurry, because he’s got to leave time to empty the dishwasher (if he hasn’t already) before he heads out the door. He often takes homemade whole-wheat toast in a paper towel. I don’t know how he manages not to drip honey on himself while he drives. He often leaves the news on for my mom.
For my mom, breakfast is an experience, not one to be rushed. She cracks a Diet Code Red Mountain Dew, and pours is in a lovely glass with a stem. More often than not, she uses the prettier, celebratory plates, even though they’re heavier and harder to unload from the dishwasher. She watches the news that my dad left on for her while reading the newspaper. She usually finishes his avocado. She uses pink Himalayan salt from an artisan salt dispenser. She only rushes on Monday, when she has hiking group.
I’ve always been a bagel-girl myself. Instant oatmeal, a brief Hot Pocket stint in college. Whatever I eat, it’s always the breakfast of least resistance.
When I left home at 18 for college, I kind of thought I was done learning from my parents. If I’m honest, I probably thought that around age eleven, when my mom taught me how to do my own laundry. As a teenager, I was so eager for everything to be my own hard-won lesson.
But this morning, after a year of living with my parents as an adult, I looked down at my plate—the pretty one that’s harder to wash— and realized, I might not be done learning.