Gift Bread

We’ve been taking care of some friends’ chickens and dogs and cats while they’re on vacation. The chicken coop is attached to a fenced yard, and in the evening I have to close the door and brace a piece of wood against it, because it doesn’t latch from the inside. Then I have to climb over the fence. Their children usually do this work. I am heavier than a child. You can guess the rest of that story.

This morning I took Caleb with me. I’m learning that wherever I go, I need to try to take at least one child along. Sometimes one is best, because then he has you all to himself. Caleb gathered the eggs while I fed the creatures. He chattered about the things that are important to an eight year-old. I listened and talked back like these are the most important things in the world. Maybe they are.

Later, as I was dressing for work, Caleb came to my bedroom and told me there was a present waiting for me on the kitchen counter, but that I couldn’t open it until I got in my truck.

In the truck I unwrapped the paper towel that served as wrapping paper. Inside was a floppy little piece of under-cooked cinnamon toast. The butter was smeared unevenly, clumping at one end and absent from the other. The cinnamon sugar huddled in the middle of the bread for fear of falling off. By any epicurean standard this was a pretty pathetic piece of cinnamon toast.

It was also the best piece of toast I’ve ever had.


  1. Carl

    About five years ago my son, then ten, learned “God Bless America” at school. The next time he had to hang out in my office at work he found the color high-lighters and drew an American flag & staff, and wrote out the chorus of the song, all on a single sheet of school ruled note-bok paper.
    All 13 stripes, not all the stars. All the words, though the ones at the end are smaller and scrunched up as he ran out of space. Not a grain offering, but is now mounted on the wall above my dresser, where I see it every day.
    I wonder if our children only know how much we love them when they have their own.

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