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On Sunday mornings Bryan and I rise long before the first child stirs and shuffle our way into the kitchen. I tie an apron around my pajamas; clean the counter and the stovetop; and then pull mixing bowls, pie plates, slow cookers, and measuring cups and spoons from their hiding places. We eat lunch at church on Sundays and although a wise woman would prepare it in advance, I prefer to play the fool, for Sunday mornings in the kitchen are one of my favorite times of the week.
Sometimes Bryan joins me there when he comes home from work, but everyone wants a word with dad as he transitions from work and commute to home and he needs time to unload and unwind. Cooking isn’t his thing anyway.
Except for Sunday mornings.
He gathers ingredients for me: flour, oil, eggs, pasta, cheese, milk, butter—always plenty of butter—and pours and measures whatever I need. He’s the one who watches the clock on Sunday mornings and knows the faster I cook, the earlier we leave. I know it pains his sweet deacon’s soul to have a wife who’s the last one ready, but we do enjoy those early mornings.
Although we might not make the same things each week, we stock the pantry for our standby recipes. Bryan’s mastered the art of the perfect pot of cheese grits: triple the four-serving recipe, add an extra cup of water and tablespoon of salt, and half a stick of butter. He stretches an arm for the corn syrup on the top shelf, beyond my reach, and brings me nuts from the pantry for my almost-famous pecan pie. I boil pasta for mac ’n’ cheese and he shakes the cans of evaporated milk, and then punctures their lids on each side with an old-fashioned can opener. We stir the ingredients together in the slow cooker, which cooks on low until we leave home and at church during the service. My mother’s recipe for unbaked oatmeal cookies, which we call blobs, is prepared in one pan on the stovetop, no oven required.
Sometimes we listen to an audio book; occasionally we talk current events or politics (he brings me up to speed); but mostly we enjoy this quiet time together as a couple, working in sync, until Bryan notices the time and sends me to the shower and goes to wake the kids. Then chaos ensues. (Lionel Richie wasn’t talking about a large family getting ready for church when he sang “easy like Sunday morning.”)
We still hold hands during church and Sunday nights are date nights. Our mornings in the kitchen, gliding past each other in a slow dance between counter, oven, fridge, and sink, contribute to a marital harmony that can be harder to find the rest of the week, when work and schedules fight to keep us apart. So I’ll continue to hold onto my sleepy-eyed Sunday mornings in the kitchen and my good man who meets me there.
Want more? Grab The Heart of Marriage: Stories that Celebrate the Adventure of Life Together by Dawn Camp today. In this book, Dawn compiles true stories from some of today’s best writers, and invites you to reflect on the heart of marriage. “The best marriages are not perfect. Marriage is about walking together through all of life’s ups and downs, its challenges and triumphs. And no relationship offers more chances for personal and spiritual growth, love and support, and just plain fun.” - Dawn Camp
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