by Nancy Geibe Wasson
I am standing over the toaster making breakfast while waiting on my almost-a-teen-going-on-knowing-absolutely-everything-daughter-with-beautiful-hair to emerge from the restroom ‘red carpet ready’ for the school hallway. Ahh, glorious smelling toast. The warm bready aroma of comfort, or maybe even Paris - some of us knowing one or the other, some never knowing either. The smell that longs for butter. Mmm…Butter…Once an afterthought, now too much fat for me to enjoy, but I give her as much as she wants. I wait on my girl and wait on her toast.
Someday my daughter will make her daughter toast. She’ll wait by the counter as her mind wanders while the hot toaster makes browned badges of honor saying ‘I’m toast now’ on the soft white bread. She’ll accidentally get a glance of her reflection in a microwave door or a fingerprint-smudged stainless-steel range hood and think about the beautiful hair she used to spend an hour a day to make it look just so. My daughter will think of all the dreams and ideas she had to make the world a better place but now makes toast. She will ponder as the bread color reaches its peak if it’s too late for those ideas. She’ll grow impatient waiting on her daughter, but, when that daughter, (whom I will call pickle like a silly, old grandma), emerges like a butterfly from her personal salon she’ll feel love swell deep down like the warmth that bread feels, and wonder about the woman she became, who she once was, and the little beauty she made that tends to her hair in the next room and be so glad, but also a little empty.
The toast springs forth and I spring into present day reality as my favorite girl appears from the restroom only to sit down in a hurried huff. She is beginning to be encased by the crisp shell girls develop. Knowingly and lovingly, I’m smiling. She grimaces at the morning but softens as the butter melts over the crispy bread.