Julie Lyles Carr: My Own Juan Valdez

Monday, January 28, 2008

My Own Juan Valdez


Every now and then I have a Mommy Idea, a thought that is so revolutionary to the way we live our family lifestyle that I stun myself with my own brilliance--followed by being stunned that it has taken me so long to figure out this new innovation. I offer Exhibit A:

I am an avid coffee swiller--I drink coffee constantly, frequently, passionately. As I do not experience adequate REM sleep in any way, shape or form, caffeine stands as the elixir that allows somewhat functional mommy-hood to exist in this household. Since M generally leaves very, very early in the morning in his quest to provide for this family, he often does not have the chance to put on a pot of jolt before he leaves. For several years we had a Braun coffee maker that had a timer installed and I would set up my fix the night before so that I awakened the next morning to fresh hot addiction. Then we 'upgraded' to a Krups machine that offered us the ability to froth our milk but removed our timer widget. With M's crazy schedule and no timer on board, the Krups must be coaxed each morning into providing cocoa goodness with me at the wheel.

Until today.

3 of 8 holds the title of 'Oldest of the XY Children' and also is still recovering from his brief but defining role from '96-98 as the only boy and youngest child in the family. He traffics in the half-world of being in the older population of children but reveling in being both pestering little brother and wrestling older brother. He straddles the sibling world. We have frequent heart-to-hearts about the role of oldest brother and the responsibilities that come with the wearing of that sash. Frequent conversations...

To that end, I am always pleased when 3 of 8 finds a role and responsibility he aspires to hold--and to that end, I offer this moment of mommy brilliance. He has observed my early morning stumbles to the coffee pot and my fumbling countenance as I dig for the filters. He has experienced first-hand my limited conversation ability until the ingestion of ground bean product. And a couple of days ago, he asked a magic question: "Mom, could you teach me how to make the coffee in the mornings?"

Could I? Could I?! Why haven't I, to this point? Of course, this is perfect! It involves machines, including one that takes the bean-shaped integrity of the cocoa and pulverizes it into grits of goodness. It involves water play, changing clear fluid into steaming blackness. It's mechanical, slightly destructive, and serves the greater good. And it was before me all the while.

We completed training in a couple of days and this morning he was allowed to undertake his maiden voyage. With gratitude and pride I watched 3 of 8 fulfill a holy calling; he made his first pot of coffee. And can I just tell you, with great mommy pride, it was a fine, fine brew. 3 of 8, Household Barrista.
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