Mary Oves
Mary Oves Danny Drake

It's Friday.

And visions of home fries dance in my head.

I love weekends. Weekends are a sweet cavalcade of long walks and glasses of wine. Of newspaper reading, lounge chairs and dinner by candlelight. Of kids running in and out of the house, of catching our breath and finishing laundry.

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Oh, and food. Plenty of food. Breakfast food.

After my early Saturday morning workout, my mouth starts watering like one of Pavlov's dogs. I don't eat breakfast during the school week, save for the occasional yogurt or apple eaten hurriedly at my desk before first period, so when the weekend comes, I'm ready to indulge.

What will I get tomorrow morning? I think this to myself over a glass of wine on Friday night as I lounge in my comfortable brown leather reading chair. I'm like Thinking Man, chin on hand, debating the redeeming qualities of egg white omelets as opposed to a big fluffy stack of pancakes.

I know I can cook breakfast here for a lot less money. But that's true with anything. Why go to Hawaii when I have the beach here? Why go to an Eagles game when I can watch it on television? Why go to Barnes and Noble when the library is right around the corner?

Because it's all in the experience. Going to a Barnes and Noble doesn't even compare to the library. The sound of music, the smell of coffee, the overstuffed chairs which invite you to sit- all part of the experience.

And I don't take my sons to breakfast for just the food, although it is a big draw. I go for the sounds, sights and smells. I go for the comfort and the routine. I go for the feeling that once a week, I can sit across from my sons, and enjoy their company.

All week I order them around. "Get up." "Do your homework." "Finish your dinner." "Pack your uniform." "Walk the dog." At Saturday morning breakfast, I reconnect to my sons as human beings, not as little robots who live by the sound of voices and bells telling them where to go and what to do.

We discuss their relationships and their teachers. We talk about grades, and sports. We have drawing contests, and play Hangman on the placemats. We savor our little local haunt, and know that the cook will put extra cheese in John's omelet, and an extra piece of bacon on Dustin's. We know the guy at the counter is a baseball umpire who makes bad calls. We thank the waitress who always brings the boys extra crayons.

We order everything. I let them order sides because I know they won't finish them, so I have to. I pig out, and don't feel guilty. Because it is a feast for the soul as much as it is for the body.

Anytime you eat with those you love, it is a type of communion. A gathering of souls, of minds, of bodies. A symbol of trust and acceptance. Every time we go to breakfast, I learn something new about my sons.

Last weekend, we saw one of the boy's old teachers. "She was my favorite," he said. I never knew this.

My other son was cranky, and wouldn't open up. Turns out he didn't want to do something we had planned the next day. So you don't have to go, I said. I didn't know he didn't want to go. He immediately perked up.

"Mom," my other son said. "Remember the other day you yelled at me, then wouldn't listen to my side because you said you were tired? I just wanted to tell you I didn't do what you think I did." I listened to his side this time. And I apologized. I didn't know it hurt his feelings, until he revealed it to me as he hovered over his sweet Belgian waffle.

As we drive home smelling faintly of butter, syrup and coffee, we talk about our weekend, what we have planned, and how we want to relax. And I smile, thinking how the weekend has started right.

Saturday morning. I can't wait.

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