It’s the first thing I want to see every morning. I’m drawn to it like Jen to Brad, like Brad to Angie, like Angie to voodoo. Usually I could find it in the dark, with my eyes half-closed and make it work its magic, but not this morning. This morning, the worst thing has happened, my Keurig is on the fritz.
My Keurig coffee maker has been my morning happiness for over five years now. I see it and Om, which is the exact opposite of my state at present. I’m desperately opening the front hatch and closing it, ineffectually pulling out the plug and restarting, but so far, my dealer won’t deal. I shake it. Where’s my cup full of happiness, damn you!!!
Wild-eyed, I’m staring at the little coffee pods, trying to figure if I can open one, dump out the grinds and just add hot water. It could work, I reason. I’m in the process of ripping off the top of one with my teeth, when Tyler catches me.
“Whatcha doing mommy?” Tyler asks, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
Maybe he’ll just think mommy’s madness is a bad dream. “Nothing.” I say in a high pitched voice. I sound wired, when I am anything but. “I just can’t get this dang thing to work.” I fake a weird laugh. Now I’m Snow White meets Marilyn Manson.
“Oh.” He is unaffected. “Can I have breakfast?”
“Sure.” I distractedly put a bowl, a carton of milk and a box of cereal on the table in front of him and turn my aggravation back toward the machine.
Two minutes later, I’m still futzing, repeating the same obsessive tactics to no avail when I again hear, “Can I have breakfast?”
I turn. “Tyler. It’s right in front of you.”
He doesn’t even look at it. “But you usually pour it for me and everything.”
I do? Hmmm. Suddenly even with the fuzzy, caffeine-withdrawn head, I’m having a moment of clarity. “Uh baby, you’re 10. I think you can pour your own cereal.”
“But you do it better.” He almost whines but manages a cute, sleepy smile again.
Two other boys bound in. “Hi mommy!” They chime. “Mommy I want pancakes! And bring them in the TV room. With milk.” Michael orders. “Me too.” Julius mimics. “And I want cereal too. All kinds, mixed together.”
They bound out. I look around confused. Did they just place their order as if I am their waitress? I look to Tyler for validation. He looks at me with an equally dumbfounded expression, then says, “Uh mommy. I’m waiting. And you forgot the spoon.”
Wow. I’m still reeling from the breakfast orders when Howard strides in, talking full steam ahead. “You’ve got to pick up the dry cleaning today. And do you know where Tyler’s chest guard is? If it’s in the dirty laundry you need to have it clean by tonight. I might need you to pick me up at the train and bring a sandwich or something. And remember the bags and water and stuff.”
I nod absently as he rushes out, places a quick kiss on my cheek. “See you later.” He pops his head back in. “We also need crickets for Smiles.” Then he’s gone.
I’m processing my second set of orders when there’s a yell from the other room. “Mommy! Where are my pancakes!”
“And cereal!” a little voice adds.
Tyler is still looking at me expectantly. I ignore him. I’m having a moment. I might explode. All it will take is one more…, “Mommy,” Tyler interrupts. “Did you charge my iTouch last night?”
That was it. He has no idea what he’s in for. I’m about to tell him that that if he can’t pour his own cereal, he certainly can’t have an iTouch that he can’t even be responsible to charge! He needs to start doing things for himself. I can’t believe I let this go on so long. What was I thinking?!
“Tyler,” I open my mouth to speak and simultaneously hear the sound of liquid dripping into a cup. I quickly cock my head like a soap opera character listening to her contemplative inside voice. Something is calling me. I cannot resist. I move in and smell the warm, rich aroma filling my cup. Breathe. Breathe. I watch it gurgle to its finish, add a splash of milk and sip. Mmmmm. Om. Happiness. I lean up against the counter, hearing nothing, seeing nothing, just enjoying my moment. I am right next to the silverware draw. Unconsciously, I pull it open and take out a spoon for Tyler. It’s all good.