Yesterday, I sat at my desk going over my list of things to do when my daughter came into the room and asked if she could make waffles. I told her no.
I told her that she'd never made them by herself before and the waffle iron is old and she could burn herself. I told her that I couldn't help her because I had things to do before leaving on my trip and that Luisa was on a work call and couldn't help her either.
She begged, clasping her hands together and shifting from foot to foot. I told her that it was 11 a.m. and too late for waffles and she asked me why and I didn't have an answer.
I was distracted and thought about all the things I needed to do before flying to Dayton today and then I remembered why I was flying to Dayton today - because I wrote a story about the waffle iron, about making waffles for my kids, about being the kind of mother my mother would have liked to have been.
I looked at my daughter with her bed head, her cute little blue sleep shorts and the t-shirt that's a bit too small and then dropped my head, breathed deeply, and said yes to waffles.
Yesterday, I stood at the counter and made waffles with my daughter and we talked about my mother and the waffle iron. As the waffle iron sizzled, we stood in the middle of the kitchen in the middle of the day and ate waffles with our bare hands. And tonight, I'll stand up and read the story of our waffle iron to a group of people I've never met.
Eight years ago, I accepted a gift from my mother. Then, I made waffles for my kids and wrote a story about it. That story brought me to Dayton but first, I needed perspective and I found it in my daughter's simple request, in midday laughter in pajamas, and in buttery fingers and warm waffles.
Some gifts really do keep giving.