Remember when I wrote this? So young! So innocent! So well rested!
Because though I happily and easily spent 28 years and 9 months never needing or drinking coffee (frothy and sweet concoctions are a different story and obviously don’t count), 6 weeks with a newborn had me bowing before the carafe alter.And I love it.
Scenario 1: I teach MWF this semester, and after those glorious 2 semesters in a row of not teaching, thus, not having to really do my hair as much (because one does not simply show up to teach without coiffed hair!) and rolling in when I wanted – I have to get it together. And it is not easy. We need to leave at 8:15 to get Henry to childcare and me to my office, which means waking up early (for me- I know some of you start days way earlier and bravo for you). I know that I have to get up by 6:15 for the morning to not be hectic, that I have to do everything but get dressed before Henry wakes at 7. The hour and some change that we are up together is consumed with final details, nursing, breakfast, cuddles, etc. I also know that my days need some quiet and calm at their beginning, and I have always been notoriously bad at actually making it out of bed to read my Bible for a bit.
But then coffee.
I do not like drinking my coffee on the go, and when my alarm goes off and alllll I want is more sleep – I realize that if I can just make it into the kitchen and to the pot – it is going to be ok. I will have my calm, drink my quiet, and be ready to start the day. Because I want that time, I make it out of bed.
Scenario 2: On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, I get to be home with Henry and I love it. I don’t have to roll out of bed early (because helloooooo dayjamas at home!), but the couple hours before he naps at nine are still a kind of crazy time of being with him and working a little on all the myriad things that need doing. Starting laundry, tidying up, unloading dishes, starting dinner (because we crockpot HARD in this family!), extracting objects from his mouth, his hands, his hair – it flies by. I also start thinking through my lofty goals for naptime and the day. The pages of my dissertation I need to write, the emails that need sending, the workouts that will (not)happen, and it pretty quickly rises to overwhelm me.
But then coffee.
I don’t drink it early on those days, saving it as my naptime reset, telling myself during the flurry that if I can just make it to 9:00 – I can make it forever. Cup poured, scripture read, emails done, and I feel ready to conquer anything by the end of that coffee soaked naptime. He naps easily and predictably now, but when it was still a battle, that promise of coffee and calm to come sustained me.
Scenario 3: Coffee dates, Saturday mornings, lengthy brunches, Whole30 reduced menus, instant bonding over universal addictions – coffee is the answer.
Because coffee is energy. It is ritual. It is pause. It is community. It is warmth. It is serenity, not because of any one aspect of what is in it, but because of some conglomerate of virtues, qualities, and associations that make it a very, very special part of my day – however that day might look afterwards. It is a soothing liquid flowing underneath the bridges of busy days and tired seasons.
I know the rest of you are rolling your eyes because you have been here for a long while, but though I am late, I’m happy to join you. I know it’s basic and unoriginal and cliché and ridiculous, but that universal appeal of a totally normal thing is its charm.
Let’s pour a cup and settle in. Side note: James made fun of me at length when I asked him to snap these pics and he actually jotted down this list while I was pouring a cup, only to reveal it afterwards and mock me for hitting every cliché in the book. Thanks husband, for keeping me humble and fighting that urge to be an Instagram husband. Also for knowing me well.