On the weekends when it's just Jeremiah, Elijah and myself we tend to go out to eat a couple times.
It's not that I don't like to cook, but sometimes it's nice to be the one served rather than the one serving.
Today we ate at Perkins, an American fare chain restaurant in an area about 45 minutes away from our home. The Perkins in our hometown used to be my favorite place to eat as a child, before it closed sometime during my teen years. I squealed in delight as we almost drove past the place, making Jeremiah jump and swerve in fright. He seemed to be surprised that I would want to eat there, after recovering from the jolt my scream had given him.
My grandparents would take me there after church on Sundays (and before they made me visit the nursing homes...a whole other torturous experience, a whole other post in the making).
My grandma would order me chocolate milk and then would top it off from her coffee cup. Delicious 'coffee milk' we called it and as a child I thought it was a magical creation born solely of my grandma's awesome genius.
My pappy would always order blueberry pancake pigs in a blanket, which made me laugh and grossed me out all at once.
My grandma and I would split a giant omelet, hashbrowns and 3 buttermilk pancakes. The waitress would bring out the plates with the food and then set two delicate dessert plates in front of us so we could serve ourselves from the mass of breakfast mess. My grandma would have butter and maple syrup, I would have blackberry syrup and no butter (my momma told me as a child that if you never used butter, you would never miss it when you were older, I believed her, never used it and still miss it).
I reveled in the fact that I got these two wonderful people all to myself for that short time at the restaurant every Sunday morning. Perched high in the giant wooden booth, garlands of cheap and dusty cloth flowers hanging on the paneled walls next to us, I would pretend that I was an only child and that I would stay with my grandparents forever...
No baby siblings, no tired mommas, no daddys to miss. Just me and my Pappy's jolly round belly, my grandma's elegant red nails, eggs and coffee milk.
Today we had late lunch at Perkins. Jeremiah ordered pop (he's such a bad boy). I had regular coffee, no milk.
Elijah and I split an omelet, hashbrowns and three buttermilk pancakes. I had to ask the waitress for an extra plate. Elijah ate most of the pancakes, with butter and maple syrup.
I kept waiting for some of the magic to be back.
While we were leaving the restaurant I imagined for one moment getting in to my grandparent's old red Grand Am (my Pappy loved that car), my Pappy hoisting me onto the grey velvety seats and then my Grandma ducking into the back seat to belt me in. She would smooth down my hair, tuck my dress down around my legs and remind me to sit 'like a lady'.
Jeremiah and I put Elijah into his car seat. We got into the car, Jeremiah in the driver's seat and me in the passenger side and set out onto the rainy highway.
As we drove away the magic tingle left my skull and I was once again adult Me, with only memories to cloud the experiences at hand.