Every morning I make a cup of coffee. Rain or shine, work day or weekend, I look forward to that morning boost every day. I drink it with a splash of cream so it ends up a wet sand color, and from that first toasty sip, I’m in love. But since becoming a mom, and especially since working from home during a pandemic, I’ve begun to neglect my daily mug of joe.
Instead of reveling in the warm deliciousness, I reheat it over and over again. I find it in the microwave, cold and alone, hours after I meant to drink it. My reflexes have improved as I snatch my coffee a split second before my daughter crashes it off the counter, coffee table, or fireplace mantle. Even these near-death experiences for my dear java have done nothing to rekindle the connection we once shared.
But today, as I finished the chilly sips of my morning cup at around noon, I realized something: the things that steal me away from my warm coffee are some of the things I love most:
- A voice begins singing at 7:15am — straight from asleep to the middle of a melody, my little songbird is awake. I put down my freshly-brewed cup and head upstairs.
- Back downstairs, I’m almost late for a Zoom meeting for work, so I quickly get out the Play-Doh in hopes of maximizing self-guided entertainment during the meeting. I log on and realize my coffee mug is still on the kitchen counter, and I’ve already turned my camera on. Sigh.
- Time for a quick reading break. I reheat my cup, place it on the aptly named coffee table and we dive into some Richard Scarry. Between animated voices and “me do it!” page turns, the drink sits untouched, but thankfully un-knocked over, on the table.
- During lunch we often take a walk to the park down the street. I think about transferring my now twice-reheated coffee to a traveler mug, but I know I’ll need my hands free for grasping tiny fingers as we cross the street, pushing swings and holding the pine cone treasures we accumulate along the way.
- Hours later, I go to microwave something for dinner and find my coffee cup, with just a few gulps left, still bidding me “Rise & Shine” at 5:45pm. I laugh and chug the final sips over the sink while my daughter twirls and jumps around the kitchen for her personal dance party. Honestly, it tastes pretty gross at this point, but I feel like the poor cup has earned it — and so have I.
And so every day contains at least some of these dilemmas, and my coffee and I don’t share the special moments we once did. But as I look back on what keeps me from my coffee, I wouldn’t change a thing.
So raise your forgotten mug with me, if you can find it, and let’s appreciate the relentless, exhausting, adorable, amazing distractions in our lives. These are the things that I want to remember, after all, long after my coffee has gone cold.