Those lazy days of summer would soon be over and I knew it would be hard to drag our children out of bed early once again. One day several years ago I came up with a brilliant idea that I felt would help the adjustment of rising early again.
I proposed going out to IHOP for breakfast the day before school started. (This used to always fall on Labor Day until the school district did the unthinkable and moved the start date into August. But, that’s another story.) Going out for breakfast was a rarity for our family of six children. So, I figure this was going to be a great motivation. The catch was they had to be up and dressed and ready to go out the door by 7am. I was correct IHOP’s yummy chocolate chip funny face pancakes and mug of hot chocolate with a mountain of fluffy white whipped cream was just the incentive. This was our fun Labor Day tradition for many many years. We never had to leave anyone behind because they weren’t up and ready on time. Did it help them to get up and ready for school the next day?? Well, I’m not really sure about that, some of our children always struggled with mornings.
What I do know if that those children are all grown up now. Back to school for us is a thing of the past. Five of our children are married with little families of their own. I never would have imagined what an important tradition this was until earlier this year. I was surprised to drive by IHOP and see that it had closed. I mentioned this on Facebook and my daughter Katie replied tongue-in-check, “ that just destroyed my childhood”. I let her know that she would have her memories. And they are good indeed!!