The sacred breakfast ritual

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So almost every Friday morning before school I take my son Emmett out for breakfast.

It’s a cherished ritual—one I started with my daughter Casey several years ago. We pick a spot, kick back, order pancakes or eggs or whatever … and talk.

Anyhow, this morning we wound up at a place that served a pretty limited menu (some omelets, some pastries), but offered the Los Angeles Times for free on a nearby table. I grabbed the paper, said to Emmett, “Wanna look at the comics?”

“Sure!” he said.

Within moments, the above scene came to action. Emmett was reading, giggling, pointing out funny strips. I had my head in the sports section—Dodgers in trouble, Chargers might draft a running back in the third or fourth round, Ducks playoff disappointment. We ate and we read and we read and we ate, and from afar I could see someone thinking, “Hmm, that’s so anti-social. We need to better communicate with our children.”

Only, well, it was beautiful. I have myriad fond memories from my childhood home in Mahopac, N.Y. The New York Times or Report Dispatch spread across the table. Dad reading the front page, my brother reading business, my mom complaining that it’s rude to read and eat. I’d grab the sports section, catch up on the Jets and Mets and Nets. It was one of my absolute favorite things to do. Comfortable. Comforting. Reassuring. We’d converse in between articles—I’d inevitably complain about the Jets’ quarterbacks or the Mets’ third baseman, to which Dad or David would say, “Hmm.”

I don’t miss newspapers as a day-to-day thing. Fuck, I barely think about it. But when one returns to my hand, especially alongside a plate of eggs and a cup of orange juice, I’m transported back in time.

And I feel love.