There are so many things I dreamed about when I was pregnant with Isaac: taking him to see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza in New York--a yearly tradition with my grandmother. Reading quietly together on a comfy chair. But one of my earliest dreams was about making breakfast together on a weekend morning. First, the coffee (mine), then the milk (his), then choosing what to make (pancakes), then measuring and pouring and mixing until we devoured the result in a happy, giddy mess.
In the early days after Isaac's diagnosis, I agonized over his painfully brief attention span; his tendency to flit from one thing to another until he found a door or a drawer that he could open and close endlessly. I read Stanley Greenspan's The Child With Special Needs and skipped to the "Prognosis" sections and tried to parse the statistics, but mostly I cried a lot.
I got into the habit of making him French toast every Sunday morning, and sometimes I would half-heartedly ask him to come in and help me stir. "No stirring," he'd say, once he was able to use language.
I gave up.
For some reason, I decided to try again yesterday. "Isaac, what would you like for breakfast today?" His answer? "Cupcakes." (That birthday cupcake last week made an impact). "Well," I said, "You can't have cupcakes for breakfast, but we could make pancakes." I let it hang there for a moment. "Do you want to make some pancakes with Mommy?" "Yes," he answered, looking up. "Let's go to the kitchen."
I got his stepstool, a copy of the New York Times Cookbook (if you ever make a time capsule, put it on your list), and laid out all the ingredients. He read "cookbook" off the front cover, and "one cup mik" from the recipe. I measured, and he poured and stirred the dry ingredients together.
"One egg," I said, as we got to the wet ingredients. "I want two eggs," he argued, but I prevailed and we settled on one. After we were done mixing the dry and wet ingredients together, I asked him to put the bowls and used spoons in the sink and throw away the butter wrapper. Then I let him watch the stove from a few feet away as I poured the batter into a heated frying pan.
The pancakes were delicious. He ate them plain, ravenously, first at the counter, then at the dining-room table.
It was heaven.