Back then, all I wanted was a cup of hot coffee.
I used to wake up early some mornings when it was still dark out and my world was still quiet, ignoring how badly my body needed sleep, just so I could have a few moments to myself before the chaos began.
I would sit on the couch in silence and try to mentally prepare myself for another long, hard day of being a mom to three little kids. As I took those glorious first sips of hot coffee, knowing full well that as soon as one kid woke up, the cup would be abandoned on the end table, getting colder and colder as I rushed to make breakfast, change diapers and find lost pacifiers.
By the time the madness of the morning subsided, I would grab my cup, not even bothering to take a sip to test the temperature, and pop it right into the microwave to warm it up. As I stood there, waiting impatiently, I would often think, “Gosh, what I wouldn’t give to be able to drink a hot cup of coffee every once in a while.”
That same cup would eventually be abandoned a few more times throughout the morning as I helped brush teeth, pick out outfits, and break up fights over whose turn it was it to play with the coveted “Toy of the Day” first.
My heart would often fill with envy as I saw fellow mamas post pictures of themselves relaxing with a piping hot cup of coffee after sending their kiddos off to school.
“I will miss them,” I would think as I scrolled through social media, “but by the time we get there, I’ll be ready some peace and quiet and being able to enjoy a hot cup of coffee again.”
But today, after I dropped my oldest two off for their first day of school, I got my cup of coffee and felt my heart break as I sat in my living room that feels way too quiet when they are gone, and realized how badly I wished it had a chance to get cold again.
I realized how I longed for the days when I would carry them both downstairs in the morning, my arms full of blankets and stuffed animals and baby dolls that needed to eat breakfast alongside them.
How badly I would miss being needed in the bathroom, to help brush their hair that had knotted as they tossed and turned before wandering into our room sometime in the middle of the night.
How my heart would ache for the sound of them arguing over whose turn it was to sit on Mommy’s lap that morning as we snuggled together and watched a show. How empty and big our house now feels without their toys cluttering each room and their personalities filling up the last remaining space.
Today my coffee was hot, from the first sip to the last.
And I realized just how fortunate I was, even for a short a while, to have a life so loud and so messy — and to be so needed so desperately — that my coffee had the chance to get cold.