There are days I would just like to drink coffee all day.
The spreading warmth.
The pleasant awake feeling.
The rich flavor.
The delectable smell.
The ability to make a day feel a little lighter and happier because I am lighter and happier. Because caffeine, you know?
And then, of course, the chance to spike it with a sugary seasonal creamer.
I love coffee too much maybe.
But when the days are gray and the children aren’t listening and I woke up with a terrible crank in my head, sometimes it is best to indulge a little and have a least a cup. Of the real stuff sometimes, because sometimes decaf (though best for most days to allow the baby to sleep regularly) just doesn’t cut it and a boost improves the day for everyone.
But I wonder what I’m actually numbing when the call for coffee or chocolate grabs at the and pulls me into the kitchen. Am I dodging something or simply enjoying a pleasure. Today’s cup of coffee felt like a little of each, but often the chocolate I snag at the corners of the afternoon (and let’s face it sometimes morning) feels like running away and looking for enjoyment outside of where I am (usually in the midst of screaming short people).
It’s an escape.
Which is fine and good.
But what if I’m always escaping and never living?
Is there a way to try to engage and escape into my little life instead of out of it? Maybe instead of escaping for my own little bit of pleasure I could share a piece with my munchkins and make a funky tradition of it.
A chocolate chip when we all revert to screaming, maybe. Would it be too soft to soften the edges of discomfort for all of us?
A tea time, right before or after naps to calm and soothe and share fun? Maybe even with the pretty dishes and peanut butter crackers?
A walk outside when muscles feel cooped up.
A story for everyone when I feel like I need to escape into a fiction tale with a resolved and happy ending.
Maybe sharing these moments of escape would be fun for my kids. They might need escape too and filling those moments in might mean less need on all our parts.
So maybe, the next time I feel like burying my head in an all day cup of coffee trying to drown out the discomfort of living with preschoolers and escaping on my own, we can escape together.
Maybe I can pull them into the simple pleasure of a lovely book, a chocolate chip, a cup of tea, a quick walk.
Or I can allow myself to be pulled into the escapes that preschooler’s create: a game of pretend or chase, building or drawing new, or simply being wild.
Of course the solitary escape is sometimes necessary, but why not share sometimes?