We all know my passion for finding the mundane, meaningful. But this might very well be the greatest stretch of that talent yet. My attachment to breakfast cereal.
It started when I was pregnant with John Michael. Breakfast cereal wasn’t so much a craving as it was for some reason the only thing I felt I could stomach. Sometimes three times a day. Usually Fruit Loops if I remember correctly. Nothing too flaky or granola-like – I didn’t want to risk the chance of anything getting caught anywhere and screaming at the gag reflex to catapult the whole thing back where it came from. But this next part is much prettier: My love for cereal further grew when the older boys were much younger. Drew had just started voicing opinions about things, and it had become apparent that he and John had different personalities. I loved watching that. I love watching it still. It’s amazing to see three boys from the same two people be three such different souls. But besides that, it’s lovely to watch them trust us enough and feel comfortable enough to be their own people. Michael and I cringe any time it seems otherwise. And like so many other epoch revelations in life, it manifested itself in breakfast cereal. I was completely, almost-to-tears, moved the day I realized that John liked Rice Krispies and Drew Cocoa Pebbles, John hated cinnamon and Drew loved it. Drew lived for donuts, John felt they were simply too messy. It’s not like fixing your child a second supper because you’re not up for the fight that ensues over the one you slaved over half the evening. Getting each kid their own cereal is a complete thrill, like refusing to name them Michael Jr., Michael, Jr., Jr., and – you know, Junior. They get their own name – first and middle – and their own cereal. And it completely thrills me.
Incidentally, Jake’s following in Drew’s footsteps so far with the Cinnamon, but you can bet I’ll write it in poetry the first time he tells me, “Not that one, Mom. Bring on the Cap’n!”
Other breakfast cereals we love: Honey Bunches of Oats, Honey Nut Cheerios, chocolate marshmallow Lucky Charms (do 5-year-olds invent cereal now?), Golden Grahams, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. When I’m feeling strangely nostalgic for strange childhood cravings, I want Pops or Honey Smacks – those are the weirdest cereals. And any of these that can be purchased in the Malt-O-Meal brand will be. It’s way more breakfast for your buck.