Monday, July 06, 2009

Peaches in my Cereal

There was only 5 seconds left in the game and I was driving down the court at top speed. A quick dribble of the ball through my legs left one defender in the dust and only two more to go. A pause and a fake at the foul line left another slack-jawed in amazement. All I had left was the number one player on the opposing team. Somehow I got to full speed again and went straight at him. Only a second left now as we both went up together and I knew my superior jumping ability would make dunking on him a thing of beauty; if only I could beat the buzzer. I went up, he went up, my arm came down and...

“Reveille! Reveille! Reveille!” my dad yelled at the foot of the stairs, banging his hand on the side of stairway. Dragged out of my great dream at the worst possible moment, worst possible second; I rubbed my eyes, pulled my pillow over my head and tried to tune into the dream to see if I could get it back again. One of my brothers rushed to be the first into the small bathroom while the rest of us waited until the sound of the flush to leave their warm blankets. It was cold upstairs in our old farmhouse as my feet hit the uncarpeted floor and took my turn standing in front of the toilet. A long bus ride and even longer school day awaited me as I pulled on my uncooperative clothes and made my way downstairs to cold cereal and annoying siblings.

Around the table were brothers and sisters pouring cereal and milk and the only conversation was dad and the oldest brother talking about which fields to work on and the upcoming nitrogen tank delivery; they had already been up for hours and were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and just plain annoying. I poured my cereal with a grumpy attitude and then crunched it all down with the palm of my hand so I could fit even more in the bowl and so it would soak up the milk better. I splashed the milk on the heaping bowl and almost as much bounced off the cereal onto the table as it found its way between the smashed layers of cereal. I waited with my head in my hands for it to soak in because cereal is a dish best served cold and soggy.

Mom touched my head which caused me to back off my waiting prayer over my bowl and she leaned over and put some fresh picked, fresh cut and diced peaches into my bowl. She lovingly flattened a few wayward hairs on my head as she went on to do the same for my brothers and sisters. I looked down in disbelief as my regular bowl was turned into a child’s gourmet meal and suddenly the day was brighter: my siblings didn’t bother me, my dad and oldest brother’s loud talking didn’t annoy, the bus ride seemed like a limo and school was a challenge worth tackling. All this from a few fresh peaches!

It is the littlest things that can make someone’s day. A kind word, a remembered kiss, a cheap but meaningful gift, an email or letter, a joke, and, yes, peaches in cereal. Make someone’s day today.

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