A lot of times when I want to say something that’s important to me, one of two things happens: either I decide that I’ll do it justice later, that I just want to get it out for now; or I don’t write it at all.
Right now I want to write about my father, and how he has taken up cooking in his later life, and how he always cooks me breakfast while I’m visiting, and how today he made me a steak for dinner, and when I was finished eating it he thought I might like a baked potato, and when I was almost done with that he remembered that he had some broccoli from the garden that he could steam…and when I was finally finishing this extended dinner, he mentioned that I could eat the stuffed mushrooms in the freezer later on if I wanted a snack.
My father hasn’t always been like this. He hasn’t really cooked much at all until recently; Mom usually handled all that, and she still does. They both cook whatever they feel like: Mom will typically make something big, like a huge vat of spaghetti, or a pot of beef stew, or a roast (all of which she has made while I’ve been here, and today she was thawing chicken to fry), and Dad will get a hankering for something and make it regardless of what Mom’s cooking (like the steaks he made today).
Mom loves it when Dad decides to make breakfast, because he makes the best breakfast. Eggs over easy, toast, hash browns, and sausage or bacon. He’ll make the eggs however you want them, and he makes really good cheesy scrambled eggs, but I’ve always preferred over easy because I like to sop up the yolks with my toast. Dad remembered and made them over easy for me the other day. He’s going to make me breakfast tomorrow, too. I can’t wait.
I think my father cooks for me because he wants to share something with me. For the same reason, he likes to talk with me about his inventions. Today he took me down to the workshop to show me the method he contrived to make screws for one of his tools. The screws he’d bought ready-made cost twelve dollars apiece…now he makes the screws himself, and they each cost roughly five cents. Dad talked me through each step in the process, and what problems he’d run into and how he’d solved them. Like me, like us all, he was looking for affirmation and appreciation, and I hope I gave him enough. (I worry that I wasn’t very enthusiastic due to the fact that I was falling into a food coma.)
I love my dad. But yet again I haven’t written well enough to do my subject justice.