It started out bad, that was the problem, and what made it worse was my son and I knew that but thought we could make it better. But it was Saturday. We had promised all week that come Saturday, we’d make breakfast. Not the easy kind, either—no milk over cereal, no way. It would be fresh juice and omelets and slices of fruit.
Before I continue, this one point needs to be made abundantly clear—I cannot cook. The milk over cereal option that my son and I both rejected is the epitome of my culinary skill. Even then I’ll mess up from time to time, either drowning my corn flakes or not putting enough milk into them, creating a desert in my bowl. It’s a delicate balance, cereal.
But omelets seemed a simple enough thing. My son had promised he’d made them before and to great effect. He’d even already procured the ingredients by the time I stumbled into the kitchen that morning for coffee. “The eggs,” he told me. “We gotta crack them first.”
I can crack eggs.
Into the bowl the first one went (one-handed, thank you very much) and that’s when we found our problem. It was that egg. All green and gooey looking, and with a smell that rivaled anything that could come out of my son’s body. We bent over the bowl, staring at it and frowning.
“That’s bad,” he told me.
“Guess we should just throw it away, then.”
“We can’t. We only got four more. We’ll need them all.”
“Can’t leave a bad egg in there,” I said. “Maybe we should just go with the cereal.”
“We promised there wouldn’t be any cereal.”
And that was true. It was either omelets or I drive down to the Hardees, and my wife and daughter would know it was Hardees. It doesn’t mean much when all you do to make breakfast is spend gas money.
“Maybe if we just put in more good eggs, it’ll make the bad one taste good.”
I stood there, thinking on that. I will admit I found a certain logic to it.
It all went fairly smooth from there. The other eggs were as fine as they could be; it all came together nicely. Except for the green tint in it all.
“I’m not eating that,” my wife said.
“No way,” said my daughter.
I didn’t blame them. No way I would’ve eaten it, either.
I guess that’s why people say we need a Savior. Because we all start out with one bad egg in a bowl that we can’t ever throw away, and so we get it in our heads that the more good eggs we put in, the more good things we do and the more time and effort we give, sooner or later that bad egg will be turned into a good one.
But that’s not how it happens, is it? Our lives get to be like our omelets instead—the bad isn’t made less by all the good, the good all becomes stained with the bad.
I know that now. I also know this: next time, it really will be cereal and milk.