They had browned to perfection. I pulled the fluffy cinnamon rolls from the oven and proudly set them to cool on the stove top. Glancing at the clock, I saw that we were right on schedule. Our first day back to school -- I wanted it to be special and memorable, so I put in the extra time to make a treat.
The children began to spill into the kitchen, eyes aglow at the thought of devouring maybe even two cinnamon rolls. My parents faithfully continued their workout video in the adjoining room, although hungry glances toward the hot, gooey rolls suggested that they just might need to have a sample.
I began to serve the children, each one hovering near the stove to request specific corners and middles. As Jamie joined us, I inwardly chided myself for not starting the hot water to boil. The cinnamon roll preparation had distracted me. I usually like to have the water all ready for his coffee when he comes up. But no matter. He gave me his casual good morning smile and flipped on the burner.
I joined the children at the table, pleased that the cinnamon rolls appeared to be a hit (based on the silent, steady devouring that was taking place before me). As I lifted my fork, I suddenly heard a terrible, popping crash. I whipped my head around just in time to see the pan of cinnamon rolls burst into pieces.
I froze. My cinnamon rolls. Jamie, not frozen, quickly ran over to turn off the burner. It was not the tea kettle burner that had been switched on high. It was the burner under the cinnamon rolls. I pulled myself together and jumped up to help. Dad and Mom dropped their weights and sprang into action.
Pyrex shards were everywhere. We carefully began to collect the pieces, ordering the barefooted children to stay put. I glanced pathetically at the rolls, wondering if they could be salvaged. But my exploded plank of cinnamon rolls was balancing on a few remaining pieces of blackened glass. There was clearly no saving them. Glass not only covered the entire range and surrounding counter tops, but a few pieces had even melted into the rug in front of the sink. It was a mess.
I mourned the loss of my cinnamon rolls and the inconvenient delay in everyone's morning. But it wasn't until later that evening that the greater truth really hit me. My mom and I, recounting the event, shuddered to think of what could have been. Miraculously, no one had been standing near the pan. The potential for serious injury was frightening in retrospect. We had been scraping melted glass from the floor and counter, even pulling up a few embedded pieces. What if a child had been nearby, still selecting his cinnamon roll? We praised God for faithfully keeping his hedge of protection around our family that morning.
Tuesday dawned with renewed hope and enthusiasm. I think my dad was still pining for the elusive cinnamon roll, and I do plan to make them again sometime soon. But this time as I glanced at the clock to make sure we were on track for our school day, I was stirring a trustworthy pot of oatmeal. And yes, we started school on time.