I didn’t always drink coffee. In fact, it wasn’t until I started dating a Starbuck that I started drinking Starbuck’s coffee. Ironic, huh? I was in my mid-twenties and sharing my life with a young man who loved it. He drank coffee black – which was kind of sexy-cool, but gross at the same time. I liked the smell of coffee as it brewed, but it was too bitter tasting and I didn’t find that cream and sugar took away it’s bitterness. Then I discovered flavored creamer. My mom introduced me to it, actually. She was a fan of Amaretto, but I loved the simple French Vanilla. At first, the ratio of creamer to coffee was embarrassing and I couldn’t order coffee out at a restaurant because I couldn’t always rely on the fact that they would offer it. And then I braved out and ordered a hot coffee at McDonald’s one morning. I think I ordered five creams and five sugars. And it was good! It was a turning point – I could actually drink coffee with regular half-and-half and sugar.
I remember coffee being my saving grace when I had our first baby, our daughter, Mackenzie. She was a colicky baby and for the first 6 months of her life we didn’t sleep but a few hours at a time. It was a scary time, with all the hormones of being a first-time mom, nursing, not-sleeping, and having no family around to help us. I was battling Post-Partum Depression severely, but lived in a state of pure denial for four months until one morning around 5:00 AM, Bryan came in to the nursery where I was rocking our baby. I had been up for hours with her staring at my phone and thinking about how nice it would be to hurl myself out of the third floor window of our town home. I had tears streaming down my face, but didn’t even realize how long I had been crying. He brought me a cup of coffee – made just the way I liked it – and told me that he was afraid to go to work because he felt like we would be on the news. And as I sipped that heavenly goodness, I laughed. And it felt good to laugh and drink coffee with the father of my baby girl. With his support and encouragement, I made an appointment to see my doctor where I was promptly prescribed anti-depressants that saved all of us from being on the news.
Now, I prefer way less sugar and about the same amount of cream. I enjoy the taste of coffee, but more than that, I enjoy the experience of it all. The sound of the coffee machine as it peculates and brews. The feel of my favorite ceramic mug hot to the touch in my hands. The fact that I can now savor a cup of coffee in (mostly) peace and quiet in the mornings or afternoons while my kids either sleep or play. My kids both love it – no judgement here, remember? Mackenzie prefers French Vanilla creamer and Marshall loves it just like I do.
Just like life – tastes and preferences change – but there is comfort in familiarity. Coffee’s warmth provides that familiarity and stability that at times we all need. How do YOU take your coffee?