One Mocha, bittersweet.

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Originally uploaded by kjda

KJ Dell’Antonia

I am mourning spring today. It’s June 5, so technically, I’m a little early, but this is the last Friday of the regular school year and after today, in effect, everything changes. Little changes, building up to the big one.

Last week, when we were in Seattle, I acquired a reuseable Starbuck’s iced coffee cup. I’ve been looking for one. I’m an iced addict—coffee, latte, mocha—and obviously there are lots of cups you can put iced drinks in, but they’re limited. To me, the straw is an integral part of the experience. The whole gestalt—the see-through nature of the cup, the cold feel in your hand—it’s all one and the same, and echoes, for me, walking the streets of New York City in summer with nowhere to go and all the time in the world to get there.

Apparently I’m not the only one with this unhealthy attachment to a disposable, ecologically incorrect item, because Starbucks now offers a pretty acceptable reuseable substitute, and I bought two. But for some reason, Rachel—my local morning barrista—believes that only actual iced coffee can be served in these cups. So instead of automatically handing me my iced mocha, ever since she saw the cup, she’s been automatically handing over an iced coffee. Much better for me, and a choice I’d been meaning to make for myself, but it’s been good to have it forced on me. (Rachel and I don’t talk much in the mornings. I feel that we share a surly approach to the world at that hour, although for her it may just be a surly approach to people who want, yanno, coffee.)

But this morning Rachel forgot, or didn’t see the cup in time for a Pavlovian response, because she was pumping chocolate sauce into my regular cup before I could stop her. I assured her I would just have the mocha—after all, she couldn’t use the cup for anything else now, right?

So I am enjoying a brief bittersweet return to that particular normalcy on this, the last day Wyatt and I will enjoy our weekly Friday lunch with Suzi before picking up Lily, the last Friday of school for Lily, the last apparently normal day. Next week becomes “the week before we leave for China” and “Lily’s birthday week” and “Wyatt and Lily’s last week of school” and “Sam’s last full week of school”, a litany that doesn’t even do justice to the maginitude of change before us.

I love summer. It’s my favorite season. But spring has been good, this year, with a rhythm no season has achieved for me in a while—few interruptions, regular work, school, activities all flowing, if somewhat chaotically, in one direction. Three kids has been good to me, allowing me to work but spend time with them individually and in bunches. They’ve become walkable, bikeable, even travelable. I think I will miss that.

And Wyatt… when will we have special time together, if he and Rory are on the same school schedule? How will I carry him around like I do now if instead of one he is two, and how will I kiss his plump smooth Wyatt-smelling cheek if I’m not carrying him right up close?

I know I’ve wondered this with each succeeding baby. I mourned deeply for Sam. I still feel like I missed a year of snuggling with Lily that I am not sure we’ve caught up yet. The newly good stuff has outweighed what’s lost every time. And yet, I think it is good to note its passing.

My coffee has changed. My patterns are changing. My life is changing. I want it to change—I’m even more than ok with the new drink (I was starting to notice an effect on my mocha-belly)—but I’d take another week of the old ways, too. But hell, it’s like ripping off a band-aid, especially now that I’m thinking about it. Let’s just do this thing. We’re ready. Mostly.

3 Responses to “One Mocha, bittersweet.”

  1. JK says:

    xoxo. send me more details!

  2. Lisen says:

    Ahhh…but the new adventures that are coming your way this summer!! Rory will be old hat at this whole living in the USA thing by the time our Ali arrives. We’ll have to meet up so Rory can show Ali a thing or two.

    Enjoy the last week of school. It’s ours too.


  3. Misty says:

    Change is always hard but so worth it. I felt the same way when MG was born. I’m starting to feel a hint of it again. I think it’s normal. I think? We’re normal, right? Get packing girly. I love the line “let’s just do this thing”. It is equivolent to my often repeated line “let’s get this show on the road”. My show is still in the planning stages. UGH! I’m living vicariously through you.