Do you remember your first cup of coffee? For me, it is a distinct memory. It was back in the day when people served coffee in cups and saucers, not mugs – and it was prepared in an aluminum “perk-pot” on the stove. I remembered easing my way into embellishing this new hot beverage with milk and sugar – having first tried a sip as my mother prepared hers – with a drop of milk so small that it barely changed the color of the liquid. I settled on the “light, one sugar” preference and for years that’s how I drank it – until I finally gave up on the sugar addition during one round of dieting years ago. (Though sometimes, I still like a sweetened cup – it’s almost more like a hot coffee – ice cream dessert .) During my college years – I consumed ridiculous quantities of coffee on a regular basis and actually needed to give it up for a while. And now, though I still drink coffee most days, I have found that my addiction is to a hot beverage rather than the caffeine therein – which no longer seems to impact me one way or another.
Why the heck am I talking about coffee this morning, you ask? Well, last night my 17 year-old walked down to the corner store to buy some half-and-half – so that he would be all-set for a cup of coffee today. In fact, I made sure that I got up early – not just to start my day, but to make a pot of coffee, per his request. Lately, he has taken to making himself a travel mug to take to school most mornings and my 14 year-old has expressed an interest in an occassional cup, though typically that isn’t a school-day request. It’s like a rite of passage in my mind, a sign that they are growing up and taking on some of the habits of adults. I won’t get into the issues of how “healthy” coffee is for you or not – or the reverence and peculiar fascination our society now has with coffee; bistros, lattes and brewing methods. Because though part of me was hoping they would never “take to the stuff”, for the most part I am okay with it.
So as I adjust to having to share my pot of coffee each morning – the big awareness is that I am no longer living with two children, but two young men. In fact, in a nostalgic boyish moment earlier this week – “my baby” asked me to check his height for him because he was sure he had gotten taller since the day before. And though I know it didn’t happen overnight – he measured an inch and a quarter taller than he was a couple of months ago – topping out (for now) at six feet, three-quarter inches! And that’s the younger one!!! They are getting bigger and life here has changed significantly since they were two little, juice-slurping boys. It’s quite a change – and sometimes the growth spots – pull and strain, lurch and crash – into dreams of a peaceful, harmonious household – but this one, this goes down rather smoothly – like a well-prepared cup o’ joe on a quiet morning.