When I was a girl, I believed my grandmother and my mom were the most amazing and brilliant people in the universe. Even when my own mother faltered or failed, when she didn’t, perhaps, mother very well, no one could compare. My mom told me that I should rebel, that I should talk back and roll my eyes, those things teenagers do. She said that was normal and healthy. But why would I do that? I never wanted to.
Mom and grandmother had a difficult relationship with problems I didn’t understand, but for all the anger between them they found time every weekend to sit together with cookies and cups of coffee. On weekends I got to see mom, I would sit with them with cookies and a cup of milk. When I grew up, I was going to drink coffee too. That’s how I would know I was a grown up–they’d give me coffee.
But when my mom finally gave in and let me take a sip of her coffee, I didn’t like it–much to her relief.
At 24 I joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Bulgaria, and in the cafes and apartments of my Bulgarian friends I fell in love with coffee. I was a grown up! I could drink coffee with other grown ups–my husband, friends, and colleagues.
Mom and grandmother both died when I was 21. But I love my coffee even if I am a little late.
This was inspired by one of my favorite writers who shared a story about her own coffee spell.