A One Page Story About Eating "Pretty Good".
At around 8 am my wife wakes me up with the fateful words: “Can we switch?”
Being the world's greatest husband (at least in this moment) I reply “Yes” and get out of bed. Half asleep I shuffle into the living room and see my brother-in-law, Ohad, asleep on the couch.
Looks like it will just be me, my daughter and his three children.
I glance at the table and see three boxes of cereal. Chocolate Crunch, Cornflakes and Cariot (Hebrew for “pillows”). The kind voice in my head tells me that it's Shabbat, and therefore acceptable (and responsible) to start my day with some chocolate.
But my yetzer tov (good inclination) reminds me that if I don’t eat my protein and produce first, I certainly won’t eat them second. I begin heading for the kitchen, but look around and realize that three of the four children I am watching have disappeared.
So instead I walk into the hallway and see an open door. I enter and find my sister-in-law trying to sleep, while one of her daughters is climbing on her. Her other daughter is playing on the floor with my daughter. I scoop up mine and manage to lead one of hers into the living room.
Needing a moment I open the cabinet, reach to the highest shelf and take out a bar of chocolate. As I break off small squares, the last child magically reappears.
Each child receives a single square of chocolate and they dig in. On my trip to the kitchen I take a moment to return the remaining chocolate. In the fridge I find a huge stash of cucumbers and take two which gets me one serving of vegetables.
By the time I return, three of the four pieces of chocolate are gone, and the last is in the hands of Ohad’s youngest child, Netta. I say the bracha “Borei Pri Haadama” and take my first bite of cucumber. The kids look at me and promptly reach out their hands. Except for Netta who first goes to her father on the couch, attempts to wake him up, and then leaves the remainder of her half-melted piece of chocolate on his shirt.
I break the cucumber into pieces and hand them out, and then return to the kitchen for more to complete my serving. The process repeats itself and then my wife’s mother and father come into the house.
They are delighted to see what is going on! Proof that I am also the world's greatest father/uncle. My mother-in-law gives me a big smile and a “Kol HaKovd” ("Good Job") and they go to their room for my father-in-law’s tallit before heading out the door again for shul.
I return to the kitchen a third time, for more cucumbers. As I finish my portion of this batch I decide I have reached a serving, and move on to yogurt. The kids aren't interested and I watch them playing and munching on cucumbers as I say the bracha “shehakol nih'yeh bidvaro.”
Now that I have finished the yogurt it's time to move on to the cornflakes! And by cornflakes I mean Chocolate Crunch. For some odd reason in this country cornflakes can mean any cereal. I am once again surrounded by children. So I go to the kitchen, find the smallest bowls available and pour into each a little bit of the cornflakes of their choosing.
Before my first bite I say the bracha “borei minei mezonot” and think to myself, this might not have been the healthiest breakfast, but it was pretty good.
And pretty good has the power to get you places.