Monday, September 3, 2012
Ode on a Gallon of Milk
It's like therapy for my family. Or a ritual. It was part of growing up that every night before we went to bed we would all sit around and have a bowl of cereal. (Incidentally we can go through a box of Cocoa Pebbles in about a meal.) When we get home after a long trip, no matter how late, the first thing we all want to do is have a bowl of cereal. It's cool, it's comforting, it's probably been programmed into our genetic code.
True connoisseurs of the cold cereal bowl know that the cereal must be rotated and eaten quickly to avoid becoming soggy, usually necessitating a second bowl. They know that the best part of a bowl of cereal is the milk at the end. They know the art of choosing a cereal; whole and hardy for breakfast, Life or Rice Chex, savory for dinner, Cheerios or Apple Jacks, sweet and sugary for midnight snack, Cocoa Pebbles, Trix, Fruit Loops.
Guess what we live on when Mom's out of town?
I think everyone has something like this in their life, and it doesn't necessarily have to be food. A quilt or a chair or a song or a recipe that is to them, in a word, home. Maybe milk and cereal isn't the most glamorous of childhood symbols, but it does the job for me. When I need to feel the familiar, when I need to tell my body and mind that the world is still spinning like normal, I know where to go, and it even comes in skim.
What makes you feel home and normal again?