Bleary eyed on a morning that came too soon, I fumbled through the kitchen desperately looking for something I could make in a few minutes so we wouldn’t be late for school. I grabbed some oatmeal cups that I’d just been sent to try from Bob’s Red Mill. Halloween on a Monday tests everyone’s endurance and an early start on a Tuesday post sugar-high seemed almost unfathomable. I couldn’t imagine allowing my guys to eat sugary cereal after the mountains of treats they’d consumed, and I didn’t really want them to try the oatmeals before I tried them first, but I had nothing else quick at hand. I boiled the water, poured it into the containers, frantically packed the kids’ bags and snacks while the oats cooked and then we all sat down to breakfast. I snapped a picture out of panic. This is not a staged blog photo when I’ve thought about where and how we’ll try a new product. This is what breakfast looks like for real in my house when no one has gotten enough sleep. (I’ve even tried to cut the mountains of Halloween supplies out of the corner but they’re still peeking there-please pretend you don’t see them…..)
But hot oatmeal for breakfast is so comforting. It wraps around your tummy like a hug that tells the rest of your body that your day will be okay. And I didn’t have to go looking for brown sugar, or chop up bananas and berries for the toppings. This oatmeal had pieces of apple and chia in it and if I had put it in real bowls it would have looked like I had taken my time to make a nice homemade breakfast.
These clever oatmeals even come in their own disposable bowls so I had no clean up.
The kids went to school and this mom might have had a little nap and the day felt doable again.
Fastforward maybe a week to the day after the election when I stayed up way too late and was exhausted, confused and bleary-eyed once more when I realized I was in some Groundhog Day Movie-like morning as I reached for these oatmeal cups to save me again.
I boiled water. I waited 3 minutes. And we ate a comforting breakfast together.
Our lives are made of so many small moments like this; small moments that add up to everything that we know. And it’s always jarring when we realize how much we take these moments for granted. Every morning we wake up and we still need breakfast and we make these moments happen. I’m thankful these cups of oats helped us get through two really tough mornings. I felt like someone was taking care of me and my family and making sure we got through the day. Sometimes oatmeal is more than oatmeal; sometimes it’s something that sustains our hearts and let’s us know we’re going to be alright.
(PS. I was sent some Bob’s Red Mill products to try but the opinions expressed are my own. I was going to try and visit the actual Bob’s Red Mill factory near Portland but there are no tours on the weekends so I’m waiting until summer. Have you been? It sounds like a fun trip!)
(PPS. Do you have a go-to breakfast staple or comfort food? And when things are tough do you have tips for getting through the mornings with kids?)