During the school year, I am the breakfast guy. I get the kids up, help them get ready for the day, and make sure we all sit down to breakfast together. I like starting the day together, even if it does mean getting up half an hour earlier.

My wife either sleeps in or hurries off to work, depending on her schedule, so it’s usually just the boys and me at breakfast.

During the summer, the boys don’t have to get up, so it’s harder for me to enforce my breakfast policy. I was doing it, anyway, because that’s just the kind of dad I am.

Then my wife intervened with parental observations like “they need their sleep” and “if they sleep in, I can sleep in.”

And so started a period I affectionately call the dark mornings.

During dark mornings, I leave all the lights off for my morning routine. I go upstairs to my office and work for a bit, then return downstairs for a solitary breakfast. I poke my head in each bedroom to say good morning and goodbye, and then I drive to work.

I’m not a big fan of the dark mornings.

Last night, as I was putting my youngest to bed, he asked me a question.

“Daddy,” he said. “How early would I have to get up to have breakfast with you?”

“Six forty five,” I said. “Why?”

“Cause I wanna have breakfast with you.”

I woke him up this morning at 6:45. We played Magic the Gathering in the family room as we ate our Peanut Butter Crunch. When it was time for me to leave, we shared a secret handshake and he headed back to bed.

I love breakfast.

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