There’s nothing like a donut to bring two people together.
I brought my truck in for a long overdue oil change yesterday. My five year old son came with me and we decided the one hour wait would be a perfect opportunity to visit the donut shop next door. We hustled in from the cold and ordered up a couple of hot chocolates and sweet treats.
I invited my little man to choose our table and he pointed toward a two-top in the far corner. The space felt noticeably peaceful. Nearby three old men sat reading the paper, enjoying a warm ray of sunlight shining through the floor-to-ceiling windows. We smiled at them as we passed and I followed my son to the corner, listening to the quick, rhythmic shoosh-shoosh-shoosh of his snow pants he walked through the quiet shop.
We sat down and got cozy, shaking off our jackets and releasing shocks of staticy hair from under our hats, then reached for our goodies. I unwrapped my go-to flavor, Boston Cream, and he slowly revealed own his favorite, Strawberry Sprinkled. He laid the pink donut on a napkin and sipped his cocoa, “Too hot!” I peeled off the cap and poured in a little more milk. He tried it again. “Mmmmm. ‘S good.”
“What happened in school today, buddy?”
“Did you learn anything new?”
He was not interested in conversation. He pushed his cocoa aside and turned his focus on the awaiting spongey delight. I decided to stop talking and simply enjoy the sight of my little guy wholly engaging in an exquisite eating meditation.
With deep concentration he examined his snack on the table. He picked it up and sunk his teeth in. When a tiny red jimmy toppled onto his napkin, he pinched it between his thumb and forefinger and meticulously nestled it back into the icing. He chewed and paused and chewed some more. He lifted the donut high above his head with one hand, clearly in awe of its deliciousness. He held it up to me as if to say, Look, Mamma, isn’t it beautiful? But he didn’t utter a word. He just returned his full awareness to the slow and methodical extinction of one pink donut. He carefully selected which portion to bite, mindful to save the sweetest bit for last. He chewed and relished and appreciated the donut so entirely, I could only imagine that for him, in those moments, not one other thing existed in the whole wide world.
The last bite was upon him. He popped it into his mouth, chewed for a long while, swallowed, then tossed his head back in the chair, staring at the ceiling, seemingly reconciling the experience.
I paused to take in the warm hush of the donut shop. And I realized that silence is a pretty amazing way to communicate.
I smiled then laughed out loud. I told him I loved him.
“I love you, too, Mamma,” he finally responded.