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Longing for the Sundays when Dad made breakfast.

Byline: WRITE ON By Valeria Gomes-Pereira For The Register-Guard

Sundays have always been sacred to me. Especially in the mornings. When I was growing up, Mom would get up first, make coffee, open the drapes and hoard the newspaper. She would sit in her blue sheepskin robe and white fuzzy slippers obnoxiously savoring a Danish while our toy poodle stood at attention on the couch next to her.

My sisters and I would meander out slowly, curling up in blankets and

soaking in the morning. In a while, we would gain enough energy to move and begin our play day.

Soon after, my father would emerge wearing an old robe that was once blue. He would ritually sneeze five times followed by a violent nose-honking.

My dad was the cook. But only on Sundays and occasional barbecues or deer-camp-chili-cook-off contests. On Sunday, my dad became "Gourmet Cook." Only he pronounced it gore-met.

My dad created superb egg, bacon and toast breakfasts. The smell of soft-boiled eggs cut up and mixed together with bite-size toast always reminds me of home.

I must interject a bacon comment, though. Mom's bacon was always better than Dad's. Dad always burned the bacon, so that the eating experience had a bit of nose-curling facial twitching. Mom's bacon was chewy, and you could actually taste something besides char.

Sunday breakfast was eaten in the living room while we all examined parts of the newspaper. I always got the comics first, my mom and dad alternated the classifieds and ads, and we'd spread out from there.

Sunday mornings were steeped in tradition. Our tradition, at least.

This is not the way it works in my home now.

Usually, my partner gets up at 4:30 a.m. to camp in the bathroom, turning on lights and bumping into things as he goes.

Sometimes, I laugh-snort into my pillow and roll my eyes under my lids; other times I scowl and grumble to myself.

What can I say? As soon as I am awakened, I realize I need to pee. It won't hold, and any mother can tell you why. So, I get up to use the purple bathroom down the hall - with my eyes closed in hopes of not really waking up.

I hurry back to the bed and snuggle under the down comforter, noting smugly that in the process I didn't have to turn on any lights, I didn't run into anything and I even did it with my eyes closed. Again, I laugh-snort or grumble depending on the morning.

At this point, my son wakes up and cries from his crib. I ignore him.

Sometimes, he goes back to sleep and I find him later with peed-on pajamas and I feel guilty for not changing him when he first cried out.

Sometimes, he doesn't stop crying and I have to get up at 5 a.m. on a Sunday. But mostly what happens is, he cries, I ignore him, remember he might have peed-on pajamas, figure he probably doesn't and when he stops crying, I go back to sleep.

My daughter, who is 4, always gets up at 6:30 a.m. For some reason, on Sundays, it is much earlier. This offends me greatly. Why? Probably because I know my dad isn't downstairs making me breakfast.

My daughter comes into my room and asks me in a cheery, loud voice, "Mommy, will you play with me?"

Trying to remember that she is only 4 and therefore the owner of vast amounts of energy, I bellow, "No!"

After she bursts into tears, no doubt because I have scared her with my raccoon eyes, graveley voice and organic breath, I explain to her that no one in the world is awake right now and that it is not time to get up.

"But I'm not sleepy," she says.

"But I am."

"But I'm not!"

Oh, brother. I can hear my partner pretending to be asleep, ostensibly because he is trying to back me up in my everyone-is-asleep story, but I suspect he just doesn't want to play with our daughter, either.

I somehow encourage her to play quiet games in her room with the door closed so she doesn't wake up her brother.

Hooray - I reward myself. I snuggle down under the comforter, fling my leg over my partner and rest my forehead in the curve of his neck and smile.

One deep, sleepy sigh later, the puppy whines.

She is downstairs, crated in the dungeon, but I still hear her. I guess it is time to get up.

Yup. Hear that? The baby's crying again.

Valeria Gomes-Pereira, 29, is a mother, student and business owner in Eugene.

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Mail your typed, double-spaced, 500- to 800-word manuscript to Write On, The Register-Guard, P.O. Box 10188, Eugene, OR 97440. Attach a cover letter with your age, address, phone number, occupation and a couple of sentences of biographical information. If you want a rejected manuscript returned, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. There is no payment for a published column.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Columns
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Column
Date:Feb 22, 2004
Words:844
Previous Article:PERFORMANCE NOTES.
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