The aroma of freshly brewed coffee has me hopping out of bed. I take the stairs two at a time, turn the corner and stand gasping in my kitchen/dining/family room. On the couch, my husband looks pointedly at the clock. It’s past 8:00 O’clock.
“I smelled coffee brewing,” I say, hopefully.
He rolls his eyes and points to the kitchen area; the stove top is clear of cooking utensils. The coffee maker is still in the cabinet.
I understand immediately. There will be no coffee unless I make it.
“But that’s why I taught you how to make coffee,” I whine. “So I can wake up smelling it brew.”
“Fine,” he says, standing up. “What’ll it be?”
“A cup of strong coffee, please.”
“How would you like that – wet or dry?” he asks, barista like.
“We ARE talking about coffee, right?” I ask.
He sighs like I’m squeezing every ounce of bonhomie-ness out of him.
This has me wondering; if I say “dry” would I have to reconstitute it with water or something?
“You’re going to go instant coffee on me, aren’t you? That’s what “dry” really means, right?”
“No, it merely means without foam,” he clarifies smugly. “I’m hand-crafting it,” he adds.
What a crock! The only thing he’s ever hand-crafted is his e-mail password. Besides, what’s with all this barista terminology and Starbucks BS? Suddenly, he’s starting to look rather sinister. The fella I married is a man of few words who generally needs a private tutorial on how to operate the microwave, much less a coffee maker.
“WHERE IS MY HUSBAND? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH HIM?” I scream, brandishing an angry fist.
“Shhhh,” a soothing voice calms me down.
I open my eyes to find four curious pairs of eyes staring down at me.
“Were you dreaming about some fat woman running off with Dad again?” my daughter inquires.
“That was yesterday,” I dismiss. “This was far worse. I smelled coffee in my sleep and dreamed that Dad was making me a cup.”
The kids nod solemnly. They remember the last time I entrusted him with the stove and a frying pan. I had taken me days to get the burn marks off the pan. Coffee is more complicated than scrambled eggs. It requires measuring out water and filling the top chamber of my stainless steel Ilsa stovetop espresso maker just below the steam release valve, filling the funnel filter with freshly ground coffee, attaching the bottom chamber with three and a half twists and setting it on the back burner on low heat. More than that, they know that coffee has to be made with love. The grounds sense it. Press down too hard in the funnel filter and you can bet the coffee grounds will revolt and turn out a weak brew. Pat them down with care and they will reward you with a robust cup of Joe.
“You are obsessed with coffee,” my youngest states solemnly. “I mean, who dreams about coffee?”
“It’s my lifeline,” I declare. “Besides, it helps my MOMery … my memory …”
“It’s not helping,” he says. “You left your car keys in the microwave the other day and made us late for school. And how about the time when you were wearing your reading glasses and still turned the house upside down looking for them?”
My daughter and older child concur.
“Nah, that’s just wear and tear on my glia and neurons from being a mother. It’s a known fact,” I am forced to defend all mothers. “It’s a chronic condition with us. It’s par for the course.”
“Guys are immune,” my oldest assures his younger brother. The relief is evident on their faces. They turn to their sister with pitying eyes.
“I hate to rain on your parade, but there will come a time when men will get pregnant,” I caution. “As it is scientists believe that there is no reason why men can’t breastfeed.”
It’s all about gender equality, I explain. It has already begun: Justin Bieber wears mantyhose, has been seen frolicking around Paris wearing a wristlet. It’s a sign of things to come …
To quote the Bieber, “Never say Never!”
The look of sheer disbelief on their faces is nothing short of sweet. “What does any of this have to do with coffee?” they wonder, aghast.
“Coffee is what’s going to help men cope when “this” starts to happen for real.” I say. “Aren’t you guys glad I’ve introduced you to coffee already?”
Sure my glia come a little unhinged from time to time, but that’s just a mom-thing. As a general rule, Moms kick ass. Coffee helps.


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