A few nights ago, I was attempting to make pancakes. Nothing complex, just add water, stir, and pour into a hot pan, then flip.
I hadn’t made pancakes since moving to Los Angeles, and I haven’t gotten the hang of using the gas powered stove I have now. So I got my temperature and timing all wrong, and the pancakes ended up sticking to the pan and turning out a doughy mess. I won’t be competing on Hell’s Kitchen anytime soon.
And as I was standing there over my pancake disaster, attempting to spread butter across the wreckage, I reached for the pancake syrup and remembered my mother.
When I was a kid, my mother made pancakes often, usually on Sunday mornings before church. She is a master in the kitchen, and her pancakes almost always turned out fluffy and just so. But she also did little things that made the experience more enjoyable, like heating the bottle of syrup in a pan of water on the stove before serving breakfast.
Sometimes in our failures we can appreciate how apparently effortless someone else can make it all look. And that is true of my mother. When I was a kid, she made managing the household, planning and cooking meals, and taking care of all the necessary daily details look simple.
So on this Mother’s Day, I take a moment to remember all those pancake breakfasts of years ago, and remember the love that went into all of them.