Courage, Eggs, and Cleanliness
Billy and I have a system down for getting our kids out the door to make their ridiculously early 6:50 am school bus. But I routinely add extra pressure because I prepare a hot breakfast. Typically, that means eggs.
Call me paranoid, but every time I reach for cereal, I see flashes of articles telling me how much better kids learn when they have protein in their bellies; how a breakfast of carbs won't carry them through to lunch or fuel their brains. I've seen the outcome of "hangry" in my kids and I know it's not pretty.
So even when I don't feel like it, I am at the stove top cooking up some form of eggs.
I try to make the process as fun as possible for all of us, so I've taken to flipping the eggs with a flick of the frying pan rather than simply using a spatula. So, be they omelets, over-easy eggs, or a "hole-in-one," the frying pan contents go airborne in our casa with the kids as my audience.
It's not as easy as it looks.
A few degrees off of the flip or a less-than-fluid wrist action results in part or all of the egg in the gas stove burner. My respect for Waffle House cooks has risen exponentially since I've been attempting these early morning egg aerials.
Although my skills have improved over the years, I still miss the landing a good amount of the time. The reason? I lack courage.
Julia Child famously applied the "courage" label and it's well suited for how I feel.
(Watch the clip here to get the full effect and note Julia ends up with food gone astray post-flip, too.)
So what challenges my courage? Is it the fear of making a mess, looking like the incompetent cook, or flicking errant egg on my family?
I think the reason is more basic. I question whether I am capable. I don't want to fail.
Of course I could avoid the drama by using a spatula like normal people, but where's the fun in that?
What I really want is to be tested in this simple little act...and emerge courageous, if not successful.
In a larger sense, I think the egg-flipping challenge is a small metaphor for a larger life lesson.
If I can't show enough courage to flip an egg in my morning, how in the world am I going to show up with enough boldness and bravery to face something much more important during the day?
Life demands little bits of courage from us all so why not practice when the stakes are low? It takes courage for me to tackle messes, to have awkward conversations, to make uncomfortable calls, to take the blame, to stick up for someone, or take a risky opportunity. While life can be lived without courage (in the same way that eggs can be flipped with a spatula), it won't be as fun, spontaneous, exciting...or messy.
And so I will continue to flip eggs in the wee morning hours with the eyes of a couple of kids and a husband cheering me on... as a reminder to show up and try a little courage on for size...even if I end up with a some egg on my face.