So my little brother Eric turns 21 today! In honor, I am reposting a story that foreshadowed his shunning of eggs!
In the Summer of ’92, Eric was one year plus a few months. I was almost 17. My mom had gone back to work part-time for the summer, so three days out of the week, I got my domestic on. Watched Eric all day, and cooked dinner for the family. I loved the cooking part, and also cooked breakfast for Eric. It was a great arrangement, seeing as I’d always been fascinated by breakfast foods, but really didn’t like eating any of them, especially eggs.
And Eric was such a happy little eater! Every culinary delight I put in front of him, he ate cheerfully, grateful to me, his Big Sister The Provider.
Until one day. One day that the Cooking for Kids book got it all wrong. It sounded intriguing. I mean, just because I didn’t like eggs meant that a jelly omelet wouldn’t be outstanding! And perfect for kids!
But see, that was my problem. I’d transitioned out of that “I’m good with kids because I understand them” place and gone to the dark side of “I’m good with kids because I know what’s good for them.” Wrong.
Despite all the warning bells going off in my head, screaming that there was no way this was going to work, I went forward, and did my best with the recipe. I’m great with recipes! Although I’d never had anything come out this *color* before. It wouldn’t be false to say that the omelet turned out gray, or green, or blue, or the color of nightmares and death. Any and all would be an accurate description.
And God bless Eric. Most days, no matter what ridiculously ambitious concoction I placed in front of him (one day, there were crepes!), he beamed at me in thanks before tasting it.
He gazed at the omelet in what can only be described as abject horror. Dismay, even. Then he looked up at me with a “Surely you can’t be serious!” expression of panic.
Because I’d gone to the Dark Side of Dumb Adults, I laughed.
“No no, Eric!” I cooed. “It looks a little weird, but it tastes GREAT!” and pretended to eat some.
His look was dubious, but Eric was a good sport. He tried the omelet. Then made the most awesome face, like a girl in a movie trying to be rebellious and swigging from a liquor bottle, or like a Survivor eating fly-encrusted brains.
“Really? It’s not good? Come on, try some more.” I coaxed.
Eric flat out refused. Which was really telling, because he was basically a human garbage disposal. To this day, I don’t know exactly what went wrong with the jelly omelet. Most people respond to this with, “Um, what went wrong was that it was a jelly omelet.” Touché.
So I will take this milestone birthday as an opportunity to publicly apologize for feeding you a jelly omelet, Eric. Also for the time when I left you on the bicycle baby seat in front of Deli-Boy and the bike tipped over and you fell to the ground. Also for the time when you were four and I served you chicken fingers at Red Lobster on a burning-hot plate, and you cried.