I have stumbled onto something in my mothering journey that I think only happens once in a lifetime. Somehow I made my nine year old a believer in the healing properties of porridge, and although I know how it happened, I don’t know if I will ever be able to pull it off again.
One morning in September, Caleb woke up with a tummy ache. He told me that he didn’t think he would be able to go to school, but me, being a particularly unsympathetic mother, told him he was going.
“Just eat a bowl of oatmeal,” I said. “You’ll feel better.”
After he was done, I asked him how he felt. He surprised me by saying he was good now and off he went to school like a good little boy. I thought nothing more of it until a week ago after he’d had a particularly bad night (I don’t know how a growing nine year old gets insomnia, but this one does). I saw him get out the packet of oatmeal and made a comment, because he usually goes for the Honeycombs.
“Mom! This’ll make me feel better.”
“Oh, right! Of course it will,” I replied. That night at hockey while I was tying his laces I told him he didn’t have to work as hard as he usually did because of the bad night he’d had. Imagine my surprise when he looked at me like I had a third eye in the middle of my forehead.
“But Mom, I had porridge this morning. I’m just fine. I’m gonna skate as hard as I usually do, maybe even harder!”
Magic in a bowl, indeed. Now if I can just keep this up I may be able to get him through adolescence!