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OtterSummer 8.19-Pancakery

The Otter has been making scratch pancakes since she was seven. Then, of course, with lots of help from The Muse. Now, she doesn’t need or want help, except when she does. Any well-intended attempt to assist can spark a growl threatening to bite, so the grown-ups kind of scatter when The Otter picks up the spatula. “Grandma, where’s the spatula?”

I’d rushed out to score some eggs, since The Muse had claimed the entire stock to hardboil for potato salad last night. I’d poked the stick through The Otter’s door to wake her, and she came pounding down mere moments later. Today’s the famous Takoma Park parade and we’d promised our guest a pancake breakfast, so pancakery must occur.

The pressure’s on. The Otter’s not yet cooked in this kitchen, and she doesn’t know where anything is stored, so she needs The Muse as her seeing-eye dog, though she’d rather navigate independently. This situation seems to pretty perfectly mirror her life situation. She’s fully capable of independent pancakery but not aware of where the necessary resources might be located. The Muse and I have quite a bit of knowledge about where to find those resources, but our advice, even when lovingly offered, generates more snarl than appreciation. “You know I love you, Grandma.”

The cakes are sure to be terrific. They have always been her signature dish: identity on a griddle, self-esteem slathered with butter and syrup. We will quickly extinguish whatever flare-ups occurred in the production of this fine breakfast. No relationships were wounded. They were mixed up, ladled, griddled, and flipped, just like all first-class relationships need to be, occasionally.

Independence isn’t all its cracked up to be, but neither is dependence. We might foolishly celebrate one over the other without noticing that there’s no such thing as independence and that dependence, like independence, qualifies as a necessary but insufficient condition. After a pancakery breakfast, as we head out together to commemorate our independence, we’ll be mindful of the contradictions we celebrate.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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