A Note Is Worth a Thousand Words

A reflection for Mothers Day.

Friday morning I made French toast before catching a train to work. The loaf wasn’t finished, but it was time to make more bread.

I remember as a kid coming downstairs in the morning to find notes on the kitchen table. These were friendly greetings, chatty in mood but pithy in nature. They were short updates to my mother from my father on his way out the door to run a route for Wonder bread. Later, they were from mom to dad before her shift at the hospital.

Regardless of who wrote, there it was: the friendly tone, co-conspirators against waves small and large that roiled daily life.

The notes offered a key perspective on marriage. Updates on the state of my parents’ minds, they pointed to the necessity of shared labor above all else. On the whole, their minds were good, their relationship set to weather all the world would throw their way for 50 years and counting.

So what of today? How much insight do our children have into our relationships when technology’s removed the scraps of paper, the scribbled quickies, these quaint forms of communication? Even if married people text one another about ‘the bread is finished’ or ‘we need some milk,’ do Johnnie and Suzy Slopbottom see it?

Good morning,
We are almost out of bread. I would take down the bread maker* but we have visitors today and I didn’t know if you wanted it out while they are here.


At home in the kitchen I left a few messages of love. French toast cooling on the rack. A note revealing the process that went into making it. My boys will learn from what they find: they eat only because amma and dad are in cahoots.

*one may wonder why i didn’t just make the bread myself. well, i understand the process to be an exact science. and for me, recipes are suggestions, formulas absurd. and nobody wants to sandwiches made from cardboard.




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