The Devil and Daniel Webster
Hair tied back, apron securely in place, and stainless steel rolling pin in hand, I’m ready to make apple pie. I squint one eye closed and try to remember how long I’ve been doing this. If I was 14 when I made dad his first Father’s Day apple pie, then good grief, I’ve been doing this for 26 years.
Has it really been that long since dad introduced me to the story, “The Devil and Daniel Webster?” In our family, the only part of the story that really matters is the line Webster speaks after he has won the case for Jabez Stone, “There’d better be apple pie for breakfast.”
“Mmm,” dad would say, “That sounds so good, apple pie for breakfast.”
As children, we didn’t fully understand what an exceptional dad we had. We didn’t comprehend the depth of love that drove him to give up his own dreams in order to raise good children. Don’t get me wrong, we appreciated our dad and were fiercely proud of him; but it’s not possible for children to really grasp what agonies a parent goes through financially and emotionally.
Instead we bragged about the things we thought were important. Few of our friends could even come close to touching the greatness of our dad. Our dad was the biggest, strongest, smartest man we knew; and most of our friends had to agree. They stood in awe of him; and quite frankly, most of them were afraid of him. His very presence commanded respect. I was not afraid of him though; because to me, he was simply dad.
When I turned 14 and Father’s Day loomed, I wanted to do something I knew would make my dad happy, and then I remembered hearing him say, “Mmm, that sounds so good, apple pie for breakfast.” That year I slipped an apple pie into the oven at 5 a.m., and he woke to the smell of hot pastry, apples, and cinnamon. His reaction did not disappoint me, and a tradition was born.
Getting the pies to dad is a little trickier since I moved into my own place; but since fortune kissed me and gave me the best dad, I can’t let tradition die. Happy Father’s Day Dad! There’ll be apple pie for breakfast.