Life doesn't give you all the practice races you need. ~ Jesse Owens
My kids love pancakes. I make them from scratch (which really isn't difficult) but EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I make them the first ones are always different: either the pan is not hot enough, too hot, not enough oil, too much oil, too thick, too thin. Those first ones, no matter how I try and make it work are almost always "the practice pancakes".
16 years ago, my first child, my son was born. Eh, born is a relative term, given I had to practically kick him out...nothing like a little gel on the cervix, an overnight pre-induction hospital stay, pitocin and AROM to make a point. Still, he arrived, after all the interventions, absolutely perfect, with me saying I'd do it again. In a heartbeat.
My practice pancake...the day we brought him home from the hospital:
He has grown from the 8lb. 10oz baby I had 16 years ago into a 5'11 (and still growing) man-child. I always thought having a boy first would be the easy way of doing it because c'mon, we all know of the drama that accompanies girls and with boys, well, notsomuch. He was everything I had dreamed he'd be. Until he hit his double digits. Then, well, I didn't like him much. It was a phase, my husband assured me. We just needed to remain steadfast in our convictions that we were doing things right. That doesn't stop the concern, like with the pancakes...what if your fire is too hot...or not hot enough. What if your pan isn't properly greased or greased too much? What if you actually forgot something in the batter? Those first pancakes...getting them right is a little nerve racking, especially if you have people hovering over your shoulder "helping". Those first pancakes...you want them coming out perfect to validate that you really can cook.
My first pancake turns 16 today. And I have had the pleasure of seeing him turn into EXACTLY the person I knew him capable of being: loving, respectful, humorous, thoughtful, engaging, helpful, insightful young adult. I wasn't sure that I would see that happen...not at 13 or 14, when I was pulling out my hair (so if you're there, know that you are in the home stretch). At 15 I started seeing a glimmer of hope. The past 6 months have been whirlwind of change...GOOD change. Change I can believe in.
Everyone has their own recipe for pancakes. Some make the prepackaged box kind work. I keep changing mine up, never accurately measuring. Sometimes throwing in some vanilla, or cinnamon or a little extra sugar. Today half wanted blueberry, the other half chocolate chip. So I accommodated both. Either way they always come out delicious.
And to coin a phrase my son is always saying...it's all good.
PS...he STILL did not get a car.
57 minutes ago