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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Breakfast with my mother

The episode I am about to describe happens every morning unless an earthquake hits, or a major disaster decides to unfold:

My mother is the first one who wakes up. The dawn is barely breaking, and the house is very quiet. She prepares a steaming mug of coffee and sits in front of the computer to read the morning newspaper. The morning light creeps into my room, and I wake up.

I know she is awake because I can smell her coffee wafting from the end of the corridor. I wash my face and tiptoe to the living room. I watch her profile in the semi-dark room. The side of her face is ethereally illuminated by the glow of the screen. She sips her coffee delicately, and for a second, her face becomes obscured by the swirling steam. She senses me, and I can't, for the life of me, tell how she does that. She tilts her head to one side and smiles.

Mother: Good morning.
Me: Good morning, Mama.

I go to my room to start dressing. I hear noises in the kitchen, and I know that she is preparing breakfast now. Five minutes passes by when she puts her head through the door of my room:

Mother: Are you done?
Me: No.
Mother: Hurry up, the eggs are getting cold.

I start putting makeup on. I am in the middle of the challenging process of drawing a black eyeliner on my lids when her head pops again through the door:

Mother: Are you done yet?
Me: No
Mother: Hurry up, will you? The tea is getting cold.

I am standing in front of the mirror examining my profile for the last time when she walks into the room again. She stands behind me, and I look at her through the mirror. She taps her watch and raises one of her eyebrows. I smile sheepishly. She throws her arms in the air, rolls her eyes toward heaven, and leaves.

I walk to the kitchen and join her at the table.

Mother: Finally...you need to save some time for breakfast in the morning, young lady.
Me: I am going to work, Mama. I need to look presentable.
Mother: Tayeb. Eat.

I start eating.

Mother: Eat labaneh, its good.
Me: Ok.

I eat labaneh.

Mother: Try za3tar too. I bought it yesterday, its fresh.
Me: Ok.

I tear a piece of pita bread to dip it in Za3tar.

Mother: What is this? Why do you cut a small piece of bread like that? Make it bigger. Dip it well in olive oil. Yes, like this. Put more za3tar on the bread. God, you eat like a small bird.
Me: For you information, birds eat a lot.
Mother: Then you eat like babies.
Me: Tayeb.

I try to eat like grown ups.

Mother: Drink some tea, its makes swallowing food easier.

I sip tea. I pretend to choke to tease her.

Mother: Did you try the cheese? No? Try it.. I bought a big pack a week ago and you haven't touched it.
Me: I did not ask you to buy it, so why do I have to eat it?
Mother: Because its good.

I cut a piece of cheese and eat it.

Mother: Whats wrong with you? Eat a big piece, you need meat on your bones. Here, let me cut one for you.

She cuts a piece enough to feed an elephant. My brother walks into the kitchen.

Mother: Morning, sweety. Did you sleep well? Come here and sit next to Mama. Yallah eat. Try labaneh, its good.

My brother grimaces and looks at me across the table. I can feel him saying: "Good God!"

3 comments:

Rambling Hal said...

That was beautiful! Sa7tein :D And I'm impressed by a mother who reads her news online and yet is still this old fashioned about a proper breakfast! Hhhhmmm....I think I'd like to hug her :D

Lulu said...

I am glad you liked it. She is a great mother. I wrote this as a tribute to her because I love her so much.

Ziad d said...

She seems like a sweet and caring mom. You are blessed! :)

 

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