I am not a morning person. Occasionally, rarely, the stars and my alarm align and I am able to slip from my warm bed before anyone else. I do love the hush of the morning on these days, when the quiet envelops the house and I am alone but not. On these days I pull on a hoodie sweatshirt, quietly tucking the blankets back over my husband and whichever child has made his/her way into our bed for one reason or another. I tiptoe from the bedroom into the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Making myself a latte feels risky, but necessary. I cringe at the loud rumbles from the machine, a clicking whir I silently pray won’t wake a child or the dog and disturb my stolen quiet moments. A trickle of dark espresso in the bottom of a mug. I add a splash of half and half to the frother, less loud but still jarring in the quiet house. It has taken me years to break myself of the need for sugar with my coffee, and I am still a little smug that I can finally enjoy my coffee without it. Not black though, I still need the richness of a milky splash swirled over the top,
We have a Nespresso machine, which churns out fancy lattes and cappuccinos with minimal effort. I requested my parents get it for Adam for Christmas a few years back, and I still maintain it is the best gift he’s ever gotten. Before Adam went back to teaching, when I spent my nights feeding newborns and soothing night terrors, he would bring me a latte in bed every morning. It was something of a running joke among my friends, that this was the kind of husband I had, the kind of luxurious life I led. That changed though, now I can no longer linger beneath my covers under the auspices of having been up all night with the baby. Adam doesn’t ready the kids for school quietly and solo while I grasp a few more moments of sleep as the sky brightens to dawn. We both still get up occasionally with a child or two, nightmares or growing pains or simple requests for a glass of water. This means we often still linger in the sleep-deprived days of life with small children.
On days when I feel especially exhausted, I make myself a second latte. An indulgence beyond just pouring myself a second mug of coffee from the French press, the second latte feels instead like a treat to be savored. Breakfast, almost. I settle into the soft grey rocker my mom bought when Isaiah was born. I nursed him in this chair, prayed over him, begged him to sleep, fell asleep with his head burrowed in my shoulder. Now, it is casually draped with a faux sheepskin to hide the sharpie scrawls two-year-old Zay left in his wake. Life turns and spins and I gasp at its speed, lament the hours until bedtime. This morning, though, I rock and sip my second cup of coffee, choosing to find quiet in a new rhythm of renewal.