There we were, gathered around the breakfast table on Christmas Eve. It was a wonderful scene. Mom in her kerchief, I in my cap . . . Well, it wasn’t exactly story-book perfect, but it was nice. My mom and grandparents were with us as we shared a tasty breakfast of Biscuit, gravy, sausage and eggs.
But along with the smells of holiday goodness was an air of tension. The baby was crying, dishes were clinking, and the kitchen was generally a flurry of activity. My wife was dutifully trying to tend to the needs of my family, making this, serving that, and all with a smile. But I could see the frustration in her eyes. The pressures of having company, making breakfast with someone else cooking in her kitchen, and dealing with all the hustle and bustle of loud . . . very loud children were all catching up with her.
Now, my wife is a great cook. She is especially good with homemade biscuits. With just a little flour and milk and (well, I’m not sure what else goes in there) she can produce fluffy goodness that could make Billy Bob Thornton lay down his mustard. Hmmmmm. Alright then.
She’s also great with gravy. White, thick, and yum yum good. But I could tell this wasn’t her gravy. It was still good. But it was more like “Mamaw-used-to-make-it” good. So I asked, and sure enough. My grandmother had insisted on making the gravy. I sensed that perhaps my wife was a little disappointed at not having the chance to prove her gravy savvy.
Knowing that she would also have been anxious about her biscuits, I decided to put her anxieties to rest. After all, I’m just that kind of guy.
“Wow, honey. These are absolutely the BEST biscuits you’ve ever made!”
There was an instant hush around the table. Clearly, everyone else knew something that I did not. After sharing unnerving glances with everyone around me, I said as intelligently as possible, “What?”
God bless my mother for the saint she is. She still takes care of me, after all these years. But sometimes even she can’t save me from myself. With a gentle touch and an almost silent whisper, she shared with me what I really wish I had known five seconds before.
“They’re frozen biscuits.”
Oh, I see. My wife hung her head. My oldest daughter giggled under her breath. My grandmother looked at me like the goofus I was. And my grandfather just prayed for me in his own way. As for me, I said the only thing I could have said in a moment such as this.
“Well, pass the biscuits.”
I think I’m on the naughty list. Nonetheless . . .
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.