The high ceilings, the brick walls and the hanging lights are all so familiar, but the room seems so different today. The scent of eggs drifts out of the kitchen when Dad, Maggie and I walk into Mom's new restaurant. We love going out to breakfast, so what better way to celebrate the opening morning than going out to breakfast at a place all our own.
"Good morning!" calls Mom, emerging from the kitchen with stains already on her apron.
Maggie and I run to her to give her a hug and she smiles, like always. Everything is just like I imagined it; Mom cooking, Dad raving about how wonderful it is and Maggie and I just hanging out in the dinning room. Most importantly, we're all here together.
The three of us sit down at one of the tables that Maggie and I helped pick out while Mom takes our orders. We don't even have to look at a menu; anything we want, Mom will make. Maggie decides on waffles while I order French toast, but we agree share them both. As we wait for our food, Maggie and I draw on the napkins and Dad sips his coffee. It seems like a scene out of a movie, the scene just before something goes horribly wrong. Yet, I'm not worried and neither is Maggie or Dad. For now, this moment is picture perfect and will only be perfected when Mom emerges from the kitchen with our food and joins us for breakfast.
It does not take long for Mom to come out with our food. The opening day is slow, just like Mom wanted it. Quickly, I move over and make room for Mom to sit down and join us, but she only smiles weakly.
"Sorry sweetie, I have to work," she says as she sets down our food and kisses my head, "Once I train the employees I'll be able to take breaks."
I frown in return. Mom always eats breakfast with us, even when she has work to do. It's the one meal of the day we all eat together. Dad rubs my hand from across the table.
"Don't worry, baby, she'll only be working like this for a little while," says Dad, unconvinced.