Happy Easter! I had been struggling with figuring out what I wanted to write about today, as the suggested topic pertained to recipes. It only occurred to me when I was preparing my first cup of coffee for the day that I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to write about.
Starting somewhere in high school, I drank coffee religiously. So much so, that people started gifting me cups of coffee, mugs, gift cards, etc. My TVI (teacher of the visually impaired), was known to bring me strong black coffee with some sugar, just the way she liked it, or one of my personal favorites, iced Vietnamese coffee. Seriously, I LOVE iced Vietnamese coffee. But one of my favorites was the coffee my mom handed me every day while I, shoes untied and still 90 percent asleep, stumbled my way onto the school bus. It was nothing special in terms of ingredients, but it was made with that … touch of mom love and affection that only she has.
Her preferred method of making this much needed elixir is simple; two teaspoons of instant coffee, three or four packets of Sweet n’ Low OR Splenda, and enough milk to make the coffee a really pretty light brown. It’s more akin to a latte, but don’t tell her I said so. Every morning since eleventh grade, she’d pack this for me and even before then, I’d steal sips from her mug at the table because it not only tasted good, it felt comforting.
When I attended choir after school in Los Angeles, our rituals then became stopping by the Starbucks near my high school to get our fix. Hers a mocha Frappuccino, me whatever concoction I wanted to try. (it usually involved cinnamon.) Coffee is one thing we bonded over as years went by. To this day, if she has to go to work before I’m up, (which is usually all the time), I wake up to a thermos of hot Mom Coffee. No one can replicate this comfort like my mom can. If I make my own coffee, I don’t even try. I don’t get the splash of milk right, I use the wrong teaspoon, whatever it is, it just doesn’t work! I usually end up getting myself a strong coffee with a touch of creamer, just enough to take a bit of the bitter edge off. When I’m away, I miss the coffee in the mornings. At Santa Cruz, the lack of good coffee was a near instant killer for me. (Though if you do find yourself in Santa Cruz, check out Verve Coffee Roasters. Freaking delicious!) Now that I’m home, the coffee I wake up to is not just a reminder that my mom is thinking of me, but it feels comforting whenever I wake up from anxiety-induced nightmares.
I hope you all find small things that remind you of the good things in your every day. From Mom Coffees to Dad Pancakes or just a touch of happiness that reminds you that not everything sucks. I must go make myself a Nat Coffee right after this, because just like my mom, I’m addicted. But seriously, find that small thing that brings you joy, and reminisce about it, experience it, live it. We won’t have those moments forever.