The alarm hadn’t gone off yet this morning when my husband came in, nudging me awake, and saying “hey, I need to tell you something.”
I don’t know about your life experiences, but in mine, “Hey, I need to tell you something,” is never followed by unequivocally good news.
Never, “Hey, I need to tell you something. We won the lottery.”
“Hey, I need to tell you something. I hired a maid service and want you to spend all day at the spa.”
“Hey, I need to tell you something. It looks like overnight you miraculously lost 50 pounds.”
Good news does not need a precursor of “Hey, I need to tell you something.” It’s the verbal equivalent of a warning shot over the starboard bow. Brace yourself.
And at 6 in the morning, it’s usually followed by “one of the dogs/children threw up/peed on the floor/bit the other one.”
This morning, though, it was followed by, “both kids are already up and making breakfast for us and say we can’t come in the kitchen.”
Which, on the “Hey, I need to tell you something” Richter Scale? Barely a tremor. I can handle this news. It’s nice, actually. So, we waited. About 7, my daughter came in, said “the coffee is taking forever to make, 5 more minutes.”
7:15, she returned. Crying.
“The stupid coffee is barely ready and now your cereal is soggy and your toast is cold.”
“Great!” I said. “I was very hungry for soggy cereal and cold toast. Exactly what I wanted.”
She stopped crying and managed a smile.
We sat down to eat with both children staring expectantly.
“We made cinnamon toast. We might have gone a little crazy.”
I started on the cereal. My husband ate his toast, very quietly.
No, “Hey, I need to tell you something.” He just ate.
I took a bite of the toast, and chose my words carefully.
“This is really interesting. How did you make it?”
“Just cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on the butter.”
“Nothing extra? It has a little tang to it. Almost lemony.”
“No, just the cinnamon sugar.”
I managed a few bites, then promised to eat the rest after the kids headed off to school. Hugged them, thanked them, got them on their way.
Then, I headed into the kitchen to clean up where I found a cannister open next to the toaster.
Which, I realized immediately, was filled with a spiced tea mix I make from sugar and cinnamon, Lipton instant tea, and Tang.
Yes, orange Tang. The kind the astronauts drink.
We’d had Tang cinnamon toast.
I laughed in the kitchen until my sides hurt. Then, I called my husband.
“Hey, I need to tell you something.”