An end to childhood at The Broadmoor’s brunch

From the draft folder….

One of my family”s happiest places on earth is AAA Five-Diamond The Broadmoor’s brunch. This elaborate and famed brunch in Colorado Springs has over 150 enticing choices–from crepe and omelet stations to a huge seafood spread to a to-die-for Grand Marnier caramel sauce to gourmet breakfast and lunch items with a meat carving station to sticky buns that magically appear like manna from heaven.

The good: See above.

The bad: No brunch has ever compared to its grandeur and has set us up for a lifetime of disappointment.

Over the years, the kids have fine-tuned their strategy. On our first visit, Jamie made Bode cry after he brought Cheerios to the table, announcing “We do not eat healthy at The Broadmoor brunch.” Jamie introduced him to bananas foster and he never looked back. Related: Bode is famous for later coining the phrase, “I can’t eat anymore. I’m not full but my mouth is tired from having so much delicious food in it.” #FirstWorldProblems

Hadley is a voracious eater of all-things carbs and in the early years she could never make it to past the bread and pastry table. Now, she out-eats us all and made a whopping 10 trips to the buffet line.

Our most recent visit to The Broadmoor for my birthday is one I’ll never forget but for all the wrong reasons. We have been plotting when would be the right time to have the Birds and the Bees Talk with our 9-year-old son but have been stalling. The kid is grossed out during kissing scenes on TV and girls are the last thing on his mind after soccer, skiing, video games and pretty much everything in the entire universe. Several months ago, Jamie announced that before we had The Talk, we needed to tell him about Santa.  I partially agreed but what do the two even have in common? I mean, it’s not like Santa was delivered by the stork, right?

Hadley was doing the rounds at the buffet (as usual) while Bode and I were blissfully chin-deep in cheese blintzes smothered in berry sauce when without provocation, Jamie announced: “Bode, you know Mom and Dad are Santa Claus, right?”

He stopped eating, shocked, while I choked on food. Why was he doing this now?  Did he want the poor boy to have a negative association with one of our favorite places on earth?

Jamie continued. “Well, we are. Did you know that?”

Bode is a sensitive kid and responded with great emotion: “Noooooooo.”

He looked like he was going to cry  but after a pregnant, awkward pause,  he went back to eating and we never spoke of it again.. Maybe Jamie was right–the end of your childhood is less trauamatic when you can drown it in The Broadmoor’s bananas foster.

Hadley made it easy on us for the big reveal. A few years ago we were at the airport flying home from an Easter visit with the grandparents.  She was devouring her stash of candy she’d collected earlier that day and asked, “Mom, are you the Easter Bunny?”

“What do you think?”
“I think you are. No, wait, I think he’s real. Oh, I don’t know.”
“Do you want to know?” “Maybe, I’m not sure. OK, yes I want to know.”

And I told her. Disappointment, then relief flooded her face. She grabbed another handful of candy as she contemplated this new revelation. After a minute, she handed me a Reese’s chocolate egg (sharing is something she never does) and asked: “What about Santa?”

“Do you really want to know?”
“Yes, no, maybe not.”

Learning the truth about Santa was exponentially tougher because there’s a lot more build-up and excitement surrounding him.

Ultimately, she confessed, “Yes, I want to know.”
“It’s Mommy and Daddy.”

There was a flash of sadness but then an appreciative look as she reflected back upon all the gifts we’ve bought her that have been attributed to Kris Kringle. She grabbed another stash of candy, shoved it in my hand and queried.

“So, the Tooth Fairy and leprechauns. Not real, either?”

By now, my mouth was busting with her bribery chocolate and I merely nodded. Once she had digested the new information, she got a twinkle in her eye and started calling me out.

“So, when the Tooth Fairy came when we were evacuated for Hurricane Earl, that was you?”
“Yep, and it was really tough one because we didn’t have any cash and had to borrow from Grandma and Grandpa.”
“And when I leave out those cookies and milk for Santa?”
“Daddy devoured them.”
“What about all those pistachios Elphina ate?” (Elphina was her Elf on the Shelf and one morning, my daughter found her bent over in a drunken-like stupor surrounded by shells).
“Daddy and I ate them.”
“But what about when we found her in the kitchen with all those sugar cookie crumbs? WERE YOU AND DADDY RESPONSIBLE FOR EATING THEM ALL?”

Apparently, our imaginary friends had an eating problem.

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