I had the delight of a mother-daughter day last week. I had a vacation day, only part of which was devoted to a session at Write by the Lake at UW-Madison. So, I took my daughter with me, planning to spend time at the Henry Vilas Zoo and then my company’s family picnic.
As we walked from the Lake Street Parking Deck toward State Street we conversed.
“What do you want for breakfast? A bagel?”
“A fried-egg sandwich.”
“Okay. Fried-egg sandwich it is.” On our way to Memorial Union, we passed some utility construction and a big orange “digger”. We stopped to watch the digger, and the gentleman operating it smiled and waved at my daughter, who waved back excitedly. After a few minutes watching the digger at work we continued on our walk.
At the Rathskeller, we picked up a fried-egg on an English muffin and chocolate milk for my daughter and headed toward the lake. We sat on a picnic table as close to the water as we could possibly get and ate alongside the ducks.
“Look, mommy, sailboats. And rowboats; they’re having a race.” My daughter announced authoritatively.
She took a bite of her fried-egg sandwich and then set it back onto the paper wrapping.
“How is it?” I asked
“Not as good as Daddy.” She grabbed her chocolate milk and went back to staring at the ducks who really wanted to join us for breakfast.
And I smiled. I wonder if all little girls have a fond food memory associated with Daddy. For me it’s Ollie Burgers from a food cart in Grant Park in Atlanta. For my daughter, it’s a fried-egg sandwich.
The next day, a Saturday, when she and I were up at 5 AM, she again requested a fried-egg sandwich for breakfast.
“Okay, I’ll make you one.”
“Umm. Where’s Daddy?”
“Asleep. I can make it. Don’t worry.”
She pulled up a chair to the cooking island in the kitchen. “You need lots of butter.”
I broke the egg into the melted butter.
“Break the yoke, break the yoke. You’re supposed to break the yoke.” She instructed impatiently.
“Now flip it.”
I searched in the drawer for a flipper. “Not that one. The metal one.”
“No wonder the nonstick surfaces of my pans are all scratched.” I thought.
I tried to flip the egg, and had a mess.
“Daddy does it better.”
“Yes, I know. You want cheese, right?”
“Right, one piece of the orange cheese.”
I finished cooking the mangled fried egg, placed it between two pieces of toast and served it. My daughter immediately sank her teeth into her breakfast sandwich.
“Well, do you like it?”
“Yes,” was the garbled reply from her full mouth.
“Is it as good as Daddy’s?”
Here to all the Daddies out there who know how to make the perfect fried-egg sandwich or hit the baseball across the alley and two vacant lots or know exactly what to say when a child really needs a smile or a big belly laugh. You guys are wonderful.
© 2010 Michele Arduengo. All Rights Reserved.