It started in a small restaurant, located inside a mall, demolished many years ago. Sunday afternoons, following church, was a special time for my mom and me. I remember the small squares of butter, wrapped in wax paper, we unwrapped and spread across a chocolate chip muffin. My mom always ordered coffee. I loved the taste of those sweet chocolate chips in the buttery fluff. As good as the muffins were, the highlight was dumping half and half in my mom’s coffee and stirring. Stirring my mom’s coffee made me feel grown-up and special. The simplicity of stirring her drink made me feel like the most important person.
Throughout the years, coffee was the center of our time together.
On fall evenings, we went to Frisch’s for pumpkin pie and coffee. Part of our holiday shopping was ordering Starbucks. We walked the mall, looking at the holiday decorations, coffee in hand. With three children, my mom would take time to have one-on-one time with us; my time usually involved coffee.
Years later and hundreds of miles between us, we miss those days. Though we only see each other for a few weeks total in a year, coffee remains a special connection between us. Her habits, when I was much younger, have become mine. She would sit in bed every evening with a cup of coffee and watch her favorite shows when my dad wrote sermons in the basement. Now, as a mom myself, I sit in bed with a cup on my nightstand. You could say coffee is a big part of our relationship.
As a mom, I look back on my favorite childhood memories and look forward to sharing them with my children. While some memories rest in the past and new traditions emerge, my hope is my children will experience some of my most cherished times. Spending one-on-one time with each child and creating memories specific to us is important. I think about the shared love for coffee, my mom and I had.
The best childhood memories are not vacations and celebrations.
Many memories center around the simplest moments shared with a loved one. I think about scratching lottery tickets with my grandma, my dad singing to me as we rocked, ice cream and Mary Tyler Moore with my aunt, and of course, coffee with my mom. We each have our own.
Part of parenthood, whether we see it or not, is giving our children the gift of fond memories. The everyday tasks that are not a big deal to us may be embedded in our child’s mind to surface years later. They will share their favorite moments with friends and family years later or keep them protected in their hearts.
My daughter has recently taken a liking to coffee. What started as sips here and there is now asking for her own. I recently began bringing her a small cup while she does her schoolwork. She licks her lips and closes her eyes as the first wonderful sip hits her soul, a feeling us coffee drinkers know all too well. I see coffee dates in our future.
I miss the days where my mom and I had coffee over small talk or a cup in bed watching TV. At the same time, I look forward to the same moments I will share with my daughter. Maybe we will have coffee over pumpkin pie, or perhaps our time will center around reading in silence while enjoying coffee. Whatever we do – coffee or no coffee – will give us both a lifetime of memories, unique to our relationship.