The appeal of kid’s breakfast cereal is undeniable. Nutrition has nothing to do with it. I’d even argue that flavor isn’t much of a factor. I think it’s sugar, bright colors and, in many cases, the character on the box. I like it when rabbits, leprechauns and chocolate obsessed vampires tell me what to eat.

Or maybe it’s more complicated than that.

This past labor day weekend began with a trip to the grocery store that led to a surprise box of Fruit Loops. And I’ve had a bowl almost every day since then. With coffee in the morning. With a glass of wine in the afternoon. And perhaps the most satisfying, at night right before I go to bed.

Cereal before bed reminds me of my grandpa. As a kid, I remember walking into the kitchen and finding him sitting at the table—sometimes in the dark—with a bowl and a spoon. I was always welcome to join him.

“Want some cereal? It’s good for you…”

The only catch was that most of the options he had were of the grownup variety. Grape Nuts. Cracklin’ Oat Bran. But the fiber-packed, mostly tasteless choices could be overlooked because I liked being apart of his sacred, late-night routine.

Last night I raised a spoon to the memory of my grandpa. Fruit Loops or Fiber One, the moment took me back to the days of simple pleasures…and the ritual of eating “breakfast” cereal at night.

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