August 2019 archive

Coffee Walk

A few years ago, my goal was to have coffee with as many people as possible throughout the year. The idea was to catch up with friends and network with colleagues while drinking my favorite beverage. I’m happy to say that I’ve had a lot of talks and a lot of coffee. But now, I’m thinking about changing things up. Coffee talks are enjoyable and productive, but I’ve discovered a flaw in my plan. We are just sitting there.

Sure, the walk to the coffee accouterments table could make you break a sweat. Like everyone else grabbing their morning coffee, you want to make a beeline to the table to get your Splenda and half and half to achieve your perfect drink. Let’s face it – that’s a workout. And, I suppose the reach for the pitcher with the milk or flavored creamer you want could count as stretching. Right? 🙂

Anyway, I’ve changed my approach to these coffee talks and want to turn them into a “coffee walk.” Bring your iced coffee with you and let’s find a neighborhood to explore. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous walk during the week because we all have to get to work eventually. But, let’s get moving!

We sit all day long. We sit on our commute to work. We sit at desks all day. We sit down to eat. We sit all the time!  So, let’s have our coffee to go… who’s with me?

Milestones

Parenthood is a slow and steady process of learning to let go. Every year brings one (or often several) new milestones. As parents, we are proud of their accomplishments and look forward to the next one.

When she was little, there were so many milestones! I watched her walk, heard her first words and helped her explore the world around her. Once, she climbed the ladder to the top of the tallest slide on the playground. I stayed right behind her to make sure she didn’t fall. I held her little hand and saw her big smile when she realized how high up she had gone. Fearless, she released her grip and slid to the bottom, faster than I would have liked, laughing all the way down.

She was perfectly fine. I had to let go.

When preschool began, I only signed her up for 2 days a week, thinking she couldn’t handle much more than that. In reality, it was me who couldn’t handle it. I busied myself with errands like grocery shopping and dropping off dry cleaning. At first, my tearful eyes watched the clock until it was time to pick her up. She often greeted me with the picture she drew and a new friend by her side.

She was perfectly fine. I had to let go.

Birthday parties were part of our weekend routine. I read my book, ate some cake and exchanged funny toddler stories with the other moms and dads while she bounced, painted, or made a pizza. Then, the day came when I went to the party and someone handed me a waiver to sign. I was confused when the young man behind the counter told me, “you don’t have to stay.” I was confused. What did that mean exactly? I didn’t know what to do. Was it safe to leave her behind for a few hours? Would the other parents frown upon me for leaving her unattended?

But, she was perfectly fine. I had to let go.

In fourth grade, she rode her bike to school by herself–sort of. I followed her in my minivan making sure she looked both ways before she crossed the street and arrived safely. At one point, I waved at her from the driver’s seat and saw the first of many spectacular eye rolls. Of course, she made it to school and after that she rode to every day without me.

She was perfectly fine. I had to let go.

Every year, I gave her a little more independence. I let her walk around the mall on her own with friends. She went to overnight camp for 4 weeks over the following three summers. I even let her fly by herself to attend a bat mitzvah in South Carolina. Then, there were dates with boys in cars and learning to drive and senior week at the Jersey shore.

She was perfectly fine. I had to let her go.

In three weeks, I’m about to hit a new milestone; one I’ve been in denial about all for quite some time. In the beginning of the school year, there seemed to be plenty of time and still so much to do. Back then, this day seemed far away and now it is so close. Our family dynamic is about to have a seismic shift that hasn’t happened since we brought her baby brother home from the hospital.

She is going to college.

We will pack up our car with all the “must-haves” from Bed Bath & Beyond. Her MacBook Air tucked away in her backpack. Her first semester tuition paid and class schedule in hand. Of course, I will lecture her on drinking and staying safe. I will tell her that college was the best four years of my life and I want her to have fun, but don’t do anything stupid.

The next part goes a little fuzzy in my mind. We will park near her dorm. I imagine it won’t take too long to unpack the car. We will wait endlessly for the elevator, but I won’t complain. Jenna will be giddy with excitement and I vow not to embarrass her in front of her roommate. After lunch, we will say our goodbyes. Family weekend is only a month away.

I’ll get in the car and likely cry. But I know this…

She is perfectly fine and I have to let go.