Pancakes at midnight.

As we started opening advent boxes with my carefully planned suggestions, I realized that I have some very wonderful, if more spontaneous, memories of family time.  I guess because of the pace of our life I feel compelled to be more deliberate in creating fun memories together.  But something happened the other night, that wasn't exactly what I planned.

My brother used to work a 3 to 11 shift at the phone company.  This was when there were still four of us siblings living at home.  On any given Friday night, my sisters (we were still teenagers) and I would be all ready for bed and my brother would get home from work, feeling tired, but wired.  He would bound into our room and suggest something outrageous:

"Let's make pancakes!" 

Never mind that it was midnight.  Never mind that we were all tired and ready for bed.  We'd jump up and all get to work making pancakes and eating them late into the night with lots of laughter in that very intimate way that comes of having been raised in the same household.  Nine times out of ten, my mom would get out of bed to join us, too, because there was no way any of us were going to pass up this opportunity for some spontaneous fun.  Those were some of my favorite family times.  Pancakes taste different, better somehow, after midnight.  Trust me on this.  They totally made me happy.

So we went to a play the other night, A Christmas with Scrooge, starring our friend, Gary as Ebeneezer Scrooge. (Fabulous! What a great way to start off our Christmas season!) 
I just love it when it snows in the theater, but then, I'm kind of a dork that way. =D
It's not often lately that I can get all four of my kids in the same area code, but here we were, all together and I felt that sweet camaraderie and family intimacy which reminded me of my family of origin and the words came out before I had had time to think it through:

"Let's make pancakes!"

Shock. Surprise. "You're kidding right?" 
Never mind that it was midnight. Never mind that we were tired and ready to go to bed.  Lucy's pancakes probably would have been much better, but none of us wanted to deal with the mess, so we ended up at Denny's.  And talked and laughed and laughed and celebrated being together.

I got my Midnight Pancakes.  And they totally made me happy. =D