Itís All About Cereal at Midnight
September, 2020

Years ago, the teenaged daughter of a well-known author was on Oprah. The author died of cancer and the girl was invited to talk about the last year of her mom’s life. I don’t remember who the author was, but I’ll never forget her daughter’s words.

The girl shared photos of the amazing things her family did together that last year. Disneyland, Paris, rafting, outrageous birthday parties. Her mom was determined to create memories that her kids would cherish for the rest of their lives. She certainly did but the most meaningful one was not one she had planned.

The girl’s favorite memory from that year was the night she woke up and wandered into the kitchen to find her mom eating cereal. She grabbed a bowl and joined her. They sat together at the table and talked late into the night.

That’s it. Cereal and togetherness. Right there in the kitchen. That’s her favorite memory from the last year of her mom’s life.

I share this story a lot because it’s such a perfect illustration of what our kids and everyone who loves us wants from us. They want us to be present. Connected. Loving. The rest is fluff.

Last week I received this text from a client:

Yesterday was hard. Huge stuff at work and the boys were super bored and cranky. I started beating myself up because I didn’t have the time or energy to go do something big or Pinterest-y. I remembered what that girl said on Oprah - about the cereal. Damn – I love that story. So I made it simple - popcorn and 45 minutes of watching TikToks together on the couch. Boys loved it and it was exactly what we all needed. Connection.

The next time you’re feeling like a failure because you didn’t buy the perfect gift, cook the perfect meal or plan the perfect craft, think about the girl and her mom eating cereal together in the middle of the night.

Think about love. Think about connection. Think about presence.





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