I love weekend mornings when my kids start emerging from their bedrooms, my eldest daughter in particular.
The 14-year-old is an expert in zombie-ness. She walks into the kitchen with her hair everywhere and her shoulders hunched forward. Each step is slow and unmeasured. She bumps into chairs and doors, and nonsensical comments follow.
But her drive is singular.
“Coffee?” she asks.
I pour and she shuffles to get the milk from the fridge and returns with her mind still in a one-track mode.
I say, “Toast.”
She has yet to lift the coffee mug to her lips for an energy charge, and she’s still too sleepy to string together enough words to ask me to make it for her, please. So she slowly – and painfully, from my perspective – reaches for the cutting board on the countertop, eases open the cupboard, and, with her eyes still half closed, fumbles for a knife, pushes the cupboard half closed with her hip, edges her way over to the bread bin, finds a piece of French bread and starts cutting it.
I watch – I’m alert, I’m a morning guy – as she shifts over to the the toaster with the two slices of bread in one hand and the other running along the countertop as if reading Braille to guide her movements. She puts the bread in the toaster and her head falls as she waits.
I run a coffee to my wife in bed – she’s another non-morning person – and come back five minutes later to find my daughter still watching the toaster.
“Ah hem,” I say.
She gets my drift and says, “Oh … forgot … to push … button … down.”
She does so and then drops her head again to resume her vigil of the toaster.