Battling Breakfast Bowls
This Piece Might be Scary
so please tolerate me. Or is that humor me? Okay. Either works at this moment. At age eight, 1961, I was just beginning to take those early steps of life and life itself was a slow teacher because for me, the easiest things for me to learn were the slowest. Take Friday’s for instance. From Monday to the next Friday seemed like a span of life from the Fourth of July to Christmas. I am serious.
I had just started first grade at New Home School, near Hamilton, Ala., and that was a kick, friends. And without going back (to that time) and exhausting the details about this place, I thought that hey, this school thing is going to be a breeze. Surely the foolish-thinking on my behalf. Breeze? Did you say breeze? Hardly. From 6 a.m., when I rose from my bed, struggling to eat the food that my parents bought, to heading to school to more stressful-activities such as figuring out how the subject, Math works. And what is an Adverb and a Noun, and the uses for them. There I sat. In the first grade. Hey, someone (on the outside) said that first grade would be like going to an amusement park. Huh? You did not say that!
Things Became Tougher
as the weeks went by. Now here I was in first grade and I became flustered with all of the lectures of Correct Manners to why is the Butterfly, which is so pretty, used to be a grub worm? Who is their right at age eight either wants to learn such or an understand these “remedial” things? Suddenly I saw myself begin to fade day by day. Oh, it did not hurt as I went from color to gray. I was sad that I wouldn’t get to play with my friends, Lomax, Billy Joe, Rick, and Charles, my best buddies. But they were “it,” the entire reasons why I went to school every day.
Well, that is not hardly the whole truth. I did like going to lunch which just happened to be my favorite thing to do each school day. But, and I confess, there was just that ONE thing that kept surfacing in my thoughts during lunch: do I ever have a tasty, nutritious breakfast? Remember, I was only eight. But I promise that I did think these things and then I would be scared.
One day during lunch, I summoned-up the courage and asked (in confidence), Rick, what did you eat for breakfast? Rick was not a big talker like I was, but when he did talk, I listened. He confided that he loved to get to breakfast each morning to just get to eat a thing called (I forget the name) or something like that. You will laugh at what I had on my table for breakfast: biscuits, bacon, and eggs. But do not condemn my parents too much, because they did not know what to buy an eight-year-old what foods to get for me in the morning?
Plus, us not having a TV, and an AM radio (with two stations) that did not educate us on what foods that children need, well, I was like an outcast. But at least Rick was truthful. And for the next few days at school, I would prod him for additional information about his breakfast food. He would chuckle and tell me how good the food was and even what the food came in. I was as excited as I would be if I were running down the stairs (if we had any) to see what I had on Christmas morning. And it was right then did I begin to use some common sense and it showed me just how much Rick loved breakfast and how he went about his day—laughing, joking, and having a great time.
So With a Lot
of begging, I convinced my mom and dad that I needed another breakfast food. And that food just had to be what Rick ate each morning. It was a reluctant agreement, but they did buy some breakfast food for me. And when I seen the box, I almost fainted because it was just like Rick told me. I couldn’t wait to eat a bowl or two. Which I did. And with each spoonful of this food, a simple food, I felt great. So this breakfast food became a staple for me from that morning on.
Turns out that the food that my mother and father bought was very healthy, nutritious, easy to prepare, and contained every vitamin that I needed in every amount of the food that I devoured each morning. I confess that I ate this food for years. And loved it. So did my grandkids. Simple foods do equal simple lives. But happy lives.
Then There Was That
time where I did the awful, the rebellious life-change in changing my food choice. Oh,Ken! What a lousy rebel you are to turn against your favorite break fast food! Well, not all at once. It took me a few weeks and a lot of planning. Then, at age 10, I thought that my parents were not that up on the entire subject of breakfast foods, and what did they know if I did do something bold and ask for a new breakfast food?
I felt like James Dean, who came along in a few years and my sister went nuts for this Hollywood heart throb—who smoked unfiltered cigarettes, drove fast sports cars and wore rebellious leather jackets and stared into the camera with such defiance that it was a wonder (to me) how this guy got to get himself into the Film Industry.
And thoughts arose in me. The most sensible was this one: if Dean eats “this” new breakfast food then why can’t I eat it too? That, to me, was not a harmful question? Shoot! People are not, for the most part, creatures who can run the tread mill for years without causing some sort of protest. I mean, just look at the Turbulent 60’s and the way that our Defense Dept. and the younger folks did not get along too much, so they staged a lot of (sometime violent) protests—cars set on fire, rocks being thrown, and draft cards burned. For shame! For shame! (e.g. the late Jim Nabors). I was no different. A change of breakfast food would really hit the spot (no pun intended.)
And in a few days of again, me begging and pleading with my folks to purchase a new breakfast food, they reluctantly-agreed. But their main opposing argument was: Ken, you already have a new breakfast food, so why do you want “another” new breakfast food? Oh, at the shuffling of young feet that I had as I told them the sob story of all sob stories. I told my folks how I was feeling left-out and being thought of as an outcast and when my friends at New Home went out for recess, I would have come out better if I had just sit in the school building and read a book about ants.
Saying My Parents, I Love You
was my gesture of hugging both of them just because they got my “new” breakfast food. Or should I say, “good, good,” breakfast foods? I always get tripped-up on some grammatical phrases. But my parents were stunned at my joy for them getting my new food which was a bit more delicious than my first good breakfast food, but I just went along and read and finished my homework and had to count the hours from supper through dark until breakfast. I remember staring at the ceiling in the dark because I just had to have some new breakfast food. Then I could tell my buddies at New Home that I was like them, because now I ate the food for breakfast that they ate each day.
The next morning, I got my cereal bowl and my mom poured me a bowl full of my new breakfast food and my mouth was salivating for the aroma of the food in my bowl. My mother poured some milk over the cereal and I just sat there and enjoyed the anticipation of that moment that I would never see again.
But I did. More moments like this one with my enjoying the new, new breakfast food and my original breakfast food, but at different mornings. I sure did not want to shun my first breakfast food. What kind of jerk would I be?
So it was part of my history as I not only felt it, but enjoyed it.
October 1, 2019____________________________________________________
© 2019 Kenneth Avery