Saturday, November 18, 2006

What Jesus has to do with Andes mints

Ryan and I don't eat breakfast at Harry's in La Jolla as often as we once did. But every few months, as a treat, we go.

Ryan always has silver dollar pancakes and I always have two eggs folded with spinach with a side of grilled tomatoes. He eats the bacon that comes with my eggs. The only thing that changes is our drink order. Sometimes white milk for Ryan, sometimes chocolate. Sometimes coffee for me, most times tea.

I have been able to track Ryan's development through Harry's pancakes. For the longest time, he ate them with his hands, so he was always a sticky, syrupy, sweet little mess after a Harry's breakfast. Then he learned to eat them with a fork. Today we hit another milestone. We ordered 12 silver dollar pancakes for Ryan instead of six and he ate every one. Also today, though perhaps it was because of the abundance of pancakes, I finished my breakfast before Ryan. Through four years of Harry's breakfasts, I have had to eat fast if I wanted to eat my fill. Today, I was waiting for Ryan.

We have a waitress who knows us well and always scoots us into a booth in her section as soon as she sees us. And, for as long as we have been going there, she brings Ryan little toys and treats. Today he got a small chocolate sucker with an owl and a pumpkin on it and some plastic rings in the shape of bugs.

When Ryan finished, we went up to the cashier to pay and he was distracted by the sucker and rings, so he didn't immediately ask me to buy him an Andes mint or two. I saw them there on the counter, remembered that he almost always asks for one and was weighing whether to let him have any since he already had the sucker.

Then, not unexpectedly, he tries to get my attention while I'm paying the bill. But, quite unexpectedly, he is whispering. Mom, he whispers with a very serious and intent look in his eyes. Then I see his lips move and I hear the words and it takes my mind a minute to process that he has NOT just said, Mom, can I have a mint.

Realizing what he has really said, I lean down toward him, put my arm around him and ask: What, Ryan?

Mom, he whispers again, was Jesus real?

Yes, I say without hesitation.

And he seems satisfied.

But I'm not. I want to know why he asked.

I wait until we're in the car and I ask Ryan why he wanted to know if Jesus was real.

Because I've never heard of anyone like him, he says, and tries to explain. He lived a long time ago but he's still alive. He's alive in our hearts.

And that seems, well, miraculous to Ryan.

And it is.

And I was thinking my boy was going to ask me for a piece of candy he didn't need and instead he wanted me to confirm that Jesus lived and that he lives.

And it surprises me a bit that he would question the existence of Jesus before he would question the existence of Santa Claus.

And, while I don't really want to confuse matters, I do think that boy is going to see an abundance of Andes mints in his stocking this year.

1 comment:

molly said...

12 pancakes!?!?!?!?

I can't wait to see that boy eat turkey.

(oh, and the stuff about Jesus was cool, too...)