By Kelli Gray-Meisner
Making a triple batch of pancakes in an attempt to reduce pressure for meals for a busy week.
These pancakes are more like crepes, they are basically eggs and bananas with various nutrient dense powders added as available. Today turmeric, vanilla and colostrum powder. A recipe I’ve made many times. Always in a silver dollar size, which requires constant flipping and corralling.
This morning, with the intimidating volume of a triple batch in the blender, I decided to make big ones, well, to try anyway.
To my surprise, it worked, well done and golden brown. But when it came to the flipping, my little metal spatula I always use just wouldn’t suffice.
I could use it to shimmy around the bottom and release it from the pan, but in order to flip it over, I had to use a different tool, find a bigger spatula, and adjust my technique overall.
As I complete my second successful large pancake flip, it dawned on me that this was a practical physical metaphor for what I was experiencing as a parent right now.
You see, when kids are young, like the small pancakes, they require a lot of direct attention a lot of corralling and a lot of flipping. Whether this is in the form of help in the bathroom brushing their teeth, potty training, reading them books, constant eagle-eye to make sure they don’t choke on a marble or get it stuck in their nose, sticking to a rhythm that keeps their temper tantrums to a minimum and keep them feeling safe. Basically, it’s a lot of hands-on and physically present work.
As your children grow, approach and enter adulthood, they don’t require so much direct physical attention. Just like with the larger pancake, you can walk away, it doesn’t burn as easily or require your undivided attention or presence anymore. But that doesn’t mean it gets any easier or you walk away completely. In fact, we often find that we have to change our techniques, gather new tools and develop our capacity to provide space for their increasing bigness. It also means that their ideas become bigger and more meaningful than ours, it’s not personal, it just is. Now we provide our support in more hands-off ways, such as monetary, providing space for mentors to share the role guiding them, deep listening whenever they decide to speak (because that becomes increasingly fleeting), and by providing space for them to experience freedom. But also, please don’t get rid of that small spatula because inevitably they will need help releasing from some figurative pan they have gotten stuck to.
And in the end, whether they are large or small, they still need your love and presence (even if it is from a distance) because after all, you do always need your parents, regardless if you realize it or not. Just like pancakes always need a spatula.
And inevitably we will mess up, there will be a rupture, a tear, a mistake. Luckily like pancakes, children are flexible, resilient and solid. Even in the face of an imperfect parent or misguided spatula, they will recover.
Banana Pancakes Recipe
2 pasture raised eggs
a pinch of sea salt
Optional: 1 tsp vanilla powder or extract, 1 tsp organic turmeric, 1 scoop colostrum powder
Blend everything in a blender, pour batter on to preheated and greased pan (cast iron works best) pour into your desired size, flip when bubbles form and pancake is golden brown and set on one side (remember to choose your spatula wisely). Then cook other side to match. Toppings are up to you, but these pancakes are generally sweet enough as they are. I like them with butter or dipped in some plain whole milk yogurt (coconut or dairy). Enjoy the pancakes and parenthood.
About Kelli Gray-Meisner
Kelli Gray-Meisner is a woman in constant pursuit of revealing her purpose on this planet and balancing that with living in the 21st-century with the heart and soul of somebody who is suited for a much simpler time. She raises her two sons, Dylan (18) and Ayden (12), with her husband living in San Diego, California. She works as a Integrative and Functional Nutritionist in clinical practice and research and also teaches. She took the five mindfulness training’s in the Plum Village tradition at Deer Park Monastery in 2004. Her current interests include; alchemizing accumulated life experience with mindful family life, engaged relationships, embodied movement, scared sisterhood, cultivating creative conversations & connections, radical nourishment and healthy lifestyle, while peeling back the layers of what it means to live life on purpose and be of benefit. Kelli’s current edge of practice includes confronting and making peace with the internal patriarchal perfectionist within herself which extends into her family, community, profession and the world.