Growing up my mother always made cinnamon toast for my brothers, sister, and me. It was cheap and quick–and was a piece of heaven when it hit your tastebuds. Throw in a tall glass of chocolate milk and it was even better!
I carried this tradition over with my children. They loved it at any time of the day. It didn’t have to be just for breakfast. It became an easy cooking lesson for the girls when they were little. It was a late night snack. It was sometimes dinner when we were short on money after the divorce. It was a “filler” until we made it to the store. It usually involved a half loaf of bread because everyone wanted some-not just some-multiple pieces.
I decided to make some for myself as a late night snack while binge watching Netflix and my husband was sound asleep. I made it the exact same way I had for years. As I pulled it out of the oven, I couldn’t wait to taste the melted buttery cinnamon taste.
I ate the first piece and it was okay. I ate another–and the same result! I sat down at my island to finish it off, and it was just mediocre. It was missing something.
All my life I have been surrounded by people growing up and raising my kids. However, now I sat alone in pure silence. There wasn’t any laughter or banter filling the room. There weren't any arguments about who would get what piece. Most of all, there weren’t any stories, or discussions about what was in store for the next day.
This was my first week of being an “empty nester”. I made something to eat that I have made for years. It has always been a comfort food for my girls and myself. I realized tonight that it wasn’t the food that gave me comfort. It was everything that went with it. I had the bread, the butter, the sugar, and the cinnamon, but I was missing the noise and chatter of my girls. They added an extra very important piece.
Evidently, it wasn’t ever about the toast at all. It was what went with it! The memories crept up inside of me of how cinnamon toast brought us together during times of laughter, and times of struggle. It was there through late night study sessions and after late night ball practices.
As tears filled my eyes, I knew that life would be different from here on out. I no longer had the “responsibility” of making sure my kids had everything they needed. There weren’t any more late night study sessions, no more practices or games to attend, but most of all there was NO more noise.
Through my years as a mother, the bread, butter, sugar, and cinnamon did not just make a delicious toast–it brought life to an empty room. It provided a time where everyone could be themselves. It opened the door for conversations that warranted advice as they grew older.
Each day we are building our story and creating memories. God has a special way of using the smallest of tidbits of our lives to provide special times…and sometimes you figure out it isn’t just about the cinnamon toast!