Monday, November 8, 2010

Tea Time

All through the house, there's a strange sound that I'm not used to hearing. It's a sound I used to hear quite often, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is.

Ah, yes. It's quiet.

I look at my sleeping child, who is having his blissful morning nap in our bed. He is so sweet. He's had a bath and I've had a shower, so I tell myself that we've gotten a lot done today, already. I think about starting a load of laundry (Oh no, I'm wearing my last pair of clean underwear!), or checking my email again (I think I saw a bill reminder in there earlier...), but I willfully put my computer down and walk down the stairs.

I reach into the freezer and pull out the familiar bag. The beans make a satisfying clicking sound as they tap together. It's a nice sound to add to the sweet quiet in my kitchen. I pour some into the grinder and whirrrrr! So fast, everything in there is quickly and easily chopped to bits. I turn on the faucet and fill up the big green water cup, then pour it into the machine. Another half green cup, and I can turn the switch to ON.

From the cabinet, I reach for one of my favorite mugs (I have many) and take a moment to remember why I like it so much. The refrigerator hums next to me, and the machine gurgles with hot water, making a morning treat just for me! I hear my son stirring on the baby monitor, but he's still sleeping. It's nice to know he's recharging himself right now. So am I.

The machine beep-beep-beeps, and I know it's time.

It's tea time.
My "tea" of choice: decaf Stumptown coffee.

I pour myself a cup, and turn the machine to OFF. I hear a tiny thunk as the light goes out. I add real half and half as well as some flavored creamer to my cup. I watch the creams swirl in the dark liquid, as it mixes itself. Beautiful.

I think briefly for a moment about how I miss my favorite flavored creamer and feel angry that Nestlé is such an evil company. But then, No, not now! That can wait. It's tea time. I stir my cup with the spoon I retrieved from the drawer. Scrape clink, scrape clink. Jack meows at me, asking for head-scratches, but I ignore him this time. Shhh, kitty! Don't you know? This is not the moment.

Still standing in the kitchen, I lift the mug to my nose, close my eyes, and inhale the sweet, milky, smoky, bitterness of hazelnut coffee. Mmmmm. I take a sip, take a deep breath in...and out. I feel the warmth traveling from my lips, to my throat, to my belly. This is the best time of day. Tea time. The moment when I don't have to do anything except enjoy the multi-sensory experience of imbibing one of my favorite drinks. It doesn't have to be coffee, but I do enjoy the anticipation that I just don't feel when I put the kettle on.

Daniel will be awake soon and he'll need his Momma. He might fuss a little, but then he'll see me, squeal, and smile that big, sleepy, toothless smile. That moment will be so wonderful and welcome because I consciously chose to have this moment. In a little while, I will start dinner as I make breakfast, because I never know what will be happening when it's actually time to prepare dinner. Soon, I will get back to the sights and sounds, the messes and funny moments of this journey I'm stumbling along called motherhood.

For now, I'm enjoying the silence. I'm enjoying the moment by myself. I'm enjoying my tea just how I like it.


"Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some."
Robert Fulghum

This post is part of my series on balance, inspired by the October Carnival of Natural Parenting. Without balance, we feel burned out, we lose perspective...we fall down. How do you find balance in your life? What does it mean to you to be in balance? Does it come easily to you or do you have to be more intentional about it?

I'd love to host your guest post for my series on balance. Contact me at anktangle (at) gmail (dot) com if you're interested in participating!


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