I love cereal. I eat cereal virtually every day. My kids love cereal as well – I guess they get that from me. When I was a kid, I always had this dream that when I reached adulthood I would be able to control how much cereal I had in my pantry. I knew that when I became a man that would mean I would have a vast amount of cereal. Not one box. Not two boxes. Not even four boxes. I was convinced that I would have an almost unlimited selection. This would include the healthy stuff with whole grains and fiber, and also the good stuff with sugar, frosting, and other awesome ingredients.
I have been married for ten years – I got married two days after graduating from college – so my entire independent adulthood has been spent with my wife. In all that time we have flirted with total cereal perfection. We would get our cereal selection built up to 4 and sometimes even 5 boxes. Occasionally we would get to 6 boxes but that usually meant we were running out of certain varieties and there was so little there we didn’t want to eat it and we were forced to buy a new box or two of cereal. (No one wants to finish off the box of cereal. It’s all powdery and that makes the milk mushy and gives it the texture of baby food. I’ll pass.) So even though we came close to realizing my dream we weren’t quite there. We were so close that I could taste it, but the final goal was elusive.
That is, until my two oldest boys started eating cereal at a rate that surprised even me. They were the missing ingredient in my search. They eat cereal twice a day and sometimes more. Their tastes are varied but they migrate towards the sweeter brands. Due to this, we have been forced to keep plenty of cereal on hand for them and for me. (My wife will have a bowl every now and then but she does not understand our cereal fascination. It’s her loss.)
Two weeks ago I opened the pantry door and looked at the top shelf where the cereal is kept. (If we kept it on a lower shelf the boys would have unlimited access to it and that would be a disaster for everyone involved.) As I gazed on the 9 different boxes of cereal a tear of joy worked its way down my cheek. I had arrived. I was now the man I had dreamed of becoming so many years ago. I could see my 7-year-old self standing next to me and beaming with pride. I gave the 7-year-old me an imaginary high-five and closed the pantry door. Hello adulthood.