Mondays are supposed to have their share of challenges, there are little people to dress, breakfast to make and eat, kids to get to school, and schedules and deadlines to meet. This morning was no exception. Today it started about four hours earlier than usual, 3:30 to be exact, when my oldest appeared at my bedside and calmly informed me that he had vomited on the floor of his bedroom and needed help cleaning it up. He then proceeded to tell me in lengthy description how he sat up in bunk bed leaned over the rail and then proceeded to empty his stomach on the carpet below. In my sleep addled confusion I had to ask him to repeat himself twice before I could make sense of what he was saying.
At this point I can only be grateful that he had the presence of mind to not vomit all over himself in the bed. We’ve had plenty of nights in years past where this was not the case. There’s nothing quite like waking to the sounds of a child crying and finding them and everything around them covered in partially digested dinner. Cleaning up the carpet, although a pain, is at least much more straight forward than stripping a sleepy child, giving them a bath, stripping the bed, starting the laundry, remaking the bed, and then getting everyone back to sleep. Small blessings. While I wish he would have gone to the bathroom right outside his door, I can’t complain too much. There was no drama and no tears.
Fast forward to breakfast, late and lazy today just like a sick morning deserves. My kids love toast. I love that my kids love toast. It’s fast and easy to make, fast to eat, and easy to clean up. This morning however, the toaster had different ideas. I loaded it, started it, and began pouring the milk when I heard a soft zap and caught a whiff of ozone.
The toaster that had accompanied us for the last ten years, had seen six different houses, two states, and the arrival of three children was dead.
While it seems silly to get sentimental over the last moments of a cheap kitchen appliance, I can’t help but think that there is something significant in the loss of something that has served our family for so long. Most of our other cheap appliances have either been upgraded or broken long before, but we could always rely on the toaster.
In many ways a toaster is more than just an appliance. It’s a promise of warm and lightly crunchy baked goods smothered in butter and jam and served with a cup of cocoa. It’s lazy mornings where we stay in our jammies and watch TV. It’s breakfast in bed and late night snacking. It’s comfort.
And now it must be replaced. While a new toaster holds the promise of wider slots and more accurate controls it will never going to be quite the same as the old. There will be that period of learning and adjusting and finding the setting that produces the perfect shade of toast, browned on top and plenty soft inside. So many things in my life are unpredictable that I’m loathe to add yet another one. In time we will come to accept and love the new toaster, but until then I will miss the old one.