By Sonya Thorne
I wish we could remember our toddler years. My earliest childhood memories are from age four and I can't help but wonder if they are real memories or simply stories I have heard so many times that I think I remember them.
My son Aiden is now 17 months old. It is such a fun age, for him and for me. He's discovering the world around him, along with his independence. He's full of smiles and giggles. He's carefree and fearless. I wish I could bottle those feelings for him.
I would love for Aiden to remember being a toddler and how the little things make him happy. Like Cheerios. To you, it may be a type of cereal. To Aiden, it's an edible, circle-shaped joy. To me, it represents the best part of my day.
Every morning, my son and I share a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast. It started months ago when he had mastered eating dry cereal and became curious when he'd see me adding milk to mine. Now, he hears the sound of the box opening and Cheerios being poured into a bowl and he comes running.
We eat our breakfast, Aiden with his spoon in one hand and Cheerios in the other. There is milk on the floor and milk on his face, but never a Cheerio left behind. It doesn't even bother me in the least that Aiden puts his little fingers in the food that I eat. I look past that because I get much more from that bowl of Cheerios than germs.
After there are no Cheerios left in the bowl, I can't help but feel two things. The first is hungry. Out of the whole bowl I probably eat 10 Cheerios so it's no wonder I often resort to eating mum mum's I find in my purse on my drive to work. The second is happy. Happy that such a small, innocent moment (like many others we share) is one that I am able to cherish forever.
I can't help but think about how something I look forward to so much is also something Aiden will have no recollection of. For years to come I will tell him stories about his early years. I will tell him, and possibly all future girlfriends, about what he was like as a baby. It will be the next best thing to him being there, even though in reality, he was there.
I will relive his firsts as I tell his stories. Of course, I will include the Cheerios story. Even now I can see the look he'll give me when he is older. He'll remind me, as he eats his own bowl, that he is old enough to wipe the milk off his own face.
He may never understand why I buy Cheerios in bulk. Why I never want to risk running out. It is not because I love Cheerios, it's because I love him and the experience we shared, an experience I can't help but feel helped shape our relationship, even at such a young age.
When I hear people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I can't help but agree. What better way to start your day than with a hearty bowl of Cheerios? Of course, an extra spoon and little fingers are optional, but recommended.