I don’t have a fabulous, witty opening for this post- I just really wanted to share it.
My son made me coffee this morning.
My 6 year-old son, who still can’t quite reach the INSIDE of the hamper with his dirty underwear; who cries very real tears when Pat asks him to make his bed; and who repeatedly asks why he needs to brush his teeth twice in the same day-
That same kid got up early and made me a cup of coffee.
The scene I walked into at 7am has become a familiar one- two protein bars, two applesauce pouches, and two cups of milk set neatly in the cup holders of the couch; 1 Pokemon cartoon playing on Netflix; and 1 kid wrapped in his favorite blanket, smiling at me.
Vince decided last week that he wants to ease the chaos of our morning routine, and I have to say, watching it all unfold has been both hilarious and heartwarming.
First was the Hulu passcode- he asked me to recite it “slowly please while I write it down.” When I peeked into his sketchbook I saw him carefully drawing the entire remote, adding numbers, and then practicing punching them with his thumb.
The next morning I walked into the living room and found him sitting on the couch, proudly smiling and gesturing to his accomplishments like Vanna White.
TV on, two protein bars …and for Grace, a 32oz thermos of the unsweetened almond milk that I use for cooking. I thanked him profusely, switched it out for milk she wouldn’t spit at the television, and gently explained that we might want to give Grace a slightly smaller cup, so that it didn’t start coming out of her ears.
Morning #2 dawned to Netflix, two protein bars, two applesauce pouches (which he swore he didn’t climb the counters to reach, so I suppose his arms are secretly made of putty…), and a 32oz thermos of the correct milk for Grace.
It was an improvement.
Morning #3, I wandered into the living room to find him fully dressed, breakfast set up, Grace’s milk in a slightly smaller cup…and a cup of coffee on the table.
He was so proud- SO proud.
“Mommy, I made you coffee!”
“Whoa! Thank you so much! How did you make it? You knew how to fill the k-cup?? That’s crazy!”
“Well, no, I just turned on the machine, and climbed on the count- I mean I used a chair to get your green Moose mug because I know that one makes you happy, and I put it under the machine, and pushed the biggest button like you and Daddy do, and it started putting way too much coffee in so I shut the whole thing off and poured some in the sink, but it’s still really good!”
I smiled, hugged him, and took a nice big sip of what I knew were Pat’s used coffee grinds.
Fast-forward a few days and I’ve woken up to several cups of almost-coffee. No matter how many times I’ve insisted that I could make it myself….every day I wake up to used coffee grinds in a green moose mug. Every day I smile, hug him, tousle his hair affectionately… quietly pour it down the sink, re-brew it, and sip it in front of him while raving about his coffee brewing prowess as he glows.
But this morning was the one. I walked sleepily down the stairs, heard the familiar sounds of Pokemon drifting from the living room, and turned the corner to see a smile so wide I was afraid it might get stuck on his little face.
“I did it, Mommy. This time, I really did it! I made you coffee!”
Of course he did- because THIS time, we rigged it.
Before Pat left for work, he filled a k-cup with new grinds and left it in the coffee pot. Haha….we were so clever. We were so sneaky.
We were so over-confident.
I lifted the mug to my lips while Vince buzzed around me like a proud little bee.
“Today I finally figured it out! I took the green cup thing out of the machine, and I dumped all the grinds out into the sink, like Daddy does. Then I filled it with your punkin pie coffee, from the bag with the little pie on it. Then I put it back in the machine and got your green moose mug. Then I pushed the biggest button. Then I went into the fridge and found your special coffee milk, and I used 3 little dabs, just like you do. You use 3 little dabs, right?”
It took everything in me not to laugh.
“Why yes, I do use 3 little dabs!”
I took a big sip- which, to my surprise, actually tasted pretty decent, besides the fact that my teeth were aching and I’d like to know what his idea of “3 little dabs” of creamer really is. Then I wandered over to the sink and found all of the unused coffee grinds we had planted in the Keurig.
Biting my lip, I turned to my still-buzzing bee and thanked him.
“Vince, you don’t need to do all of this, but it’s such a huge help.”
“Mommy, you do a lot, I want to help.”
I guess they aren’t kidding when they tell you, “Your kids are watching.”
He watches which brew size we select on the coffee maker each morning.
He watches how many “dabs” of creamer I put in my mug.
He watches my husband tap the k-cup against the sink and dump the grinds down the drain (as I glare at him with my best, “I guess you want to clog the pipes!” face).
But more importantly, he watches us.
He watches me set up the coffee for Pat before we go to bed, so he has one less thing to do at 3:30am.
He watches Pat research recipes and measure out spices so that I come home to a hot, amazing (no seriously, the man can COOK) meal every night.
He watches us offer each other the “best” seat on the couch, and give each other a quick backrub as we walk past each other.
He watches us hug, and tease each other, and wink at each other across the room.
He watches Pat kiss Grace’s “boo-boos” and he watches me read “just one more page” to help him fall asleep each night.
He watches Pat gently cuddle Rocco when his arthritis is acting up, and he watches me drag myself out in all kinds of weather when Marty needs to burn some energy.
He watches us take care of each other.
And after all that watching, he wants to be a caretaker too.
What a concept. What a damn miracle.
Even if you’re sure they’re not paying any attention to you, I’m telling you, it’s getting through. Somewhere between, “What do you mean you have homework?! It’s 10pm!” and “What do you want for dinner….what do you want for dinner….hello….hello???!!!!” It’s getting through to them.
Because my son made me coffee this morning. 🙂