Saturday mornings around here means pancakes. Mom gets to sleep in while my seven year-old daughter and I play “Top Chef.” Some folks think rituals have to be religious. I think they have to be smothered in butter and syrup. The ritual is Daddy-Daughter time, the altar is the kitchen counter, and I will not make the obligatory joke about burnt offerings--we are too good for that.
Even among the irenic hills of Kentucky everyday events threaten to steal time from the things we treasure most. I treasure time with my family, I treasure quiet mornings, and I treasure pancakes.
We are not particularly creative: my cooking skills extend to reading and following the directions on the box, even though they never change. Her skills extend to mixing the powder and water so carefully measured out by her Dad. Neither are we brave: simple pancakes will do, thank you, without the addition of berries, bananas or yuppie toppings. There was that one morning where we experimented with something other than syrup: whipped cream, honey, chocolate syrup and whatever that green stuff was. But we have promised never to speak of that morning again.
No. The beauty of Saturday morning pancakes is their dependability. Children need ritual and predictability. Grown-ups do, too. Sundays we do church, and there are plenty of rituals there as well, but we need holiness at home--holy without the trappings religious traditions, even when you love the traditions of your faith. I can reliably report that Jesus loves pancakes just as much as we do. The word holy means simply, set apart, and Saturday mornings are set apart for Katie, me, and some guy named Hungry Jack.