“Come here, Kathleen, and watch me melt the cheese. Someday, I will ask you to do it for me when I’m old and shaky. It’s a skill that must be practiced to get it right.”
“You’ll never be old, Daddy!” announced the freckled girl in corduroy overalls as she hopped over and stared at her father’s deft fingers.
“You see, Kathleen, if you don’t twirl it quickly enough, the melted cheese will fall and mess the stove, and you will lose its deliciousness.”
Kathleen nodded with big eyes.
“It’s also not safe to rotate it only in one direction. You must be prepared to retreat and twist it the opposite way too. If you don’t, it may fall. That, my sweet, is not unlike life.”
“I see, Daddy.”
“Now, look at this. Isn’t that a sumptuous soft morsel?” he asked, setting the melting pool on a thick tranche of buttered toast. The plate already held some sliced tomatoes and crisp bacon. He brought the dish to the oak table; then began to cut pieces of each ingredient and lay them on the toast. Kathleen eyed her now lukewarm oatmeal with regret. Her father observed this.
“Kathleen, are you ready for a grown-up breakfast?”
“Daddy, I’m only 5.”
“That is the perfect age to have your first adult breakfast. Let me cut a piece for you.”
He delicately sliced a portion that included all the necessary elements and handed it to her. She nibbled tentatively, then enthusiastically.
“It’s so good, Daddy!”
“That’s my girl!” he replied.