By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Pancake Day?!? This awesome holiday featuring the ultimate breakfast fare is put on by IHOP (International House of Pancake) on February 16. Don’t fret over missing it; due to good ole Captain Covid, it will actually be celebrated the entire month of April.
The. Entire. Month. Of. April. Best news I’ve heard in a while, ‘cause, who doesn’t love a pancake?!? That’s joy, right there, DreamChasers.
And, what pairs with the pancake? Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can get all creative with all the fruit and whipped cream. But, I’m your basic pancake lover, DreamChaser, so I’m talking maple syrup. Can you imagine pancakes without it?!? It would be devastating...and that is where our story is leading to what will go down in infamy as the Great Pancake Petition of 2021. (Okay, this is technically all about syrup but that doesn’t have as fun of a ring to it.)
I live in Altoona, WI, and my 3rd grader, Liam, has fortunately had in person school 4 days per week this entire school year. One of the concessions was that the kids eat lunch in their classrooms. Here’s where the scandal begins. Breakfast items for lunch are super popular among the elementary school kids. This year, however, the Altoona kids have not been getting syrup to put on their pancakes and french toast sticks. (I told you this was devastating news.) Finally fed up and ready to take action, a few determined 3rd grade girls started a petition explaining why they needed syrup with these items and this petition, created on one of those large post-it note type papers designed for presentations, was passed from 3rd grade classroom to classroom for the kids to sign.
How stinking cute is this?!?
Seriously, though, this really got me to thinking. It was a reminder that kids are little sponges, taking everything in all the time, watching and learning. There have been plenty of demonstrations of protesting in recent months, right? This made me realize what a fantastic opportunity to discuss topics like freedom of speech, standing up for what you believe in, and how to conduct this in a peaceful, respectful way. School-age kids are not too young for these big topics, but, admittedly, I would speak differently to my 3rd grader than I would to my 7th grader.
My next thought was how awesome it was these kids were doing something about an issue. Instead of complaining or just taking it, they took action. The petition was well thought out and required the need to get buy-in from the other classrooms. (Although, with syrup at stake, I am sure it was a fairly easy argument.) This immediately transitioned to my final thought, the real stunner. When was the last time I took action on something I felt strongly about? The last time I stood up for something I really believed in? Where I took action instead of just talking or thinking about it? Whoa. Really great food for thought.
Altoona Class of 2030, you have a bright future ahead. Keep that fierceness and fighting spirit. Keep changing the world, one pancake petition at a time. You are an inspiration to your parents as you remind us grown ups to look for solutions and act on them while being respectful and courageous, instead of only thinking or complaining.
According to Liam, if the pancake petition works, he’s going after the return of ranch for the chicken strips. It’s getting real over here in the ‘Toon, folks!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.