A Good Egg
When I was in high school in Arlington, Virginia my Dad was working at the dreaded Pentagon, his least favorite duty station. While he knew his work there was important, it didn't contain any of the activities he joined the Navy for, such as flying airplanes or sailing in ships, and it was heavy with bureaucratic bullshit. We both used to go off to our days back then with leaden tread, as my opinion of high school was about the same as his of Pentagon duty.
There was a bright spot to most days, however. Breakfast. By that time, my mother had given up making breakfast for either of us, figuring we were independent enough to pour our own cereal or cook the occasional egg. She stayed comfortably in bed while we munched away in companionable early morning silence, he reading the front and sports pages of The Washington Post while I read the comics.
When I was moved to make poached eggs, his favorite, I'd make some for him, as well. There was something intimate and domestic about cooking for someone else, especially my Dad, who was so appreciative; perhaps that's where my love of cooking emerged? The pan steamed, the toast popped, the butter spread and it was ready. I did it often enough that today I can boast I make great poached eggs, perfectly cooked and presented using only one pan, one spatula, one plate, and one knife and fork.
Every morning that I cooked eggs, Dad and I would do this nonsensical little routine. I'd start it by asking with a twinkle, as I cooked:
"Dad, how do you like your eggs?"
and he'd reply, also twinkling,
"I like my eggs"
and I'd say,
"No, no, I mean - how do you like 'em cooked?"
and he'd say,
"Oh, I like 'em cooked!"
Made us chuckle every time. Dad and daughter bonding. Goofy stuff. I'd give anything to be able to go over our routine with him again.
Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there. Don't worry that you're not doing enough for your kids - it's the little things they will remember. They know you're a good egg.