I very rarely drink tea anymore because if I can’t drink it hot, it’s not worth it. And trying to drink tea with lots of little hands grabbing at it kind of takes away from the tranquil experience. So I usually just save the tea for Saturday mornings when I’m kid free, but this morning I thought, “Ya know what? I’m willing to swat four hands away from my cup for a couple minutes of hot tea with my breakfast.”
I put the kettle on the stove, and prep my loose leaf Earl Grey tea in my Best-Mom-Ever cup. I arrange our breakfast plates with eggs, veggie burgers, and gluten-free pasta and place the plates on the kitchen table. The girls start jumping up and down, “Breafast! Breafast!” I open the gate, and they barrel through, climbing up their chairs in haste. “Pasta!”
Once I get the girls settled, I pour hot water into my cup and let it steep on the kitchen counter for a few minutes. I munch on my hardboiled eggs and veggie burger wishing my tea could just hurry up and steep. It’s not like I have all the time in the world. I often get this far with tea, but I rarely actually get to drink it. Well today, it happened!
I remove the loose leaf tea infuser from of the cup, shake it out a little, and place it near the sink. I lift the cup and smell the aroma of caffeine and bergamot. It’s time. The day has arrived when I can begin to integrate tea regularly back into my life, and you tea drinkers know how important this is. My husband is Russian, and they drink tea with every meal and snack. I was a huge tea drinker before I met him, and it’s only gotten worse!
One of my biggest fears when I was pregnant with the twins was that it would be years before I had a hot cup of tea, but with the help of family and friends, tea became a reality a couple of times a month. But today was the day that it looked like a possibility a couple of times a week.
I walk over to the kitchen table, my smile intriguing the girls. They immediately wave their hands in the air, “Hottie. Owie. Don’t touch.”
I sit down. “That’s right. Mama’s cup. Careful it’s hot.”
R waves her hands above the cup, “Hottie. Cool off.”
L laughs, and I turn and smile at her, while the cup delightfully warms my hand.
I hear R say, “Hottie. Cool off. Blow.” I hear Rose spitting air over my tea, and then I hear a plunk.
I whip my head around. What the heck just landed in my tea?? I see a macaroni noodle float to the top. I look up at R, and her mouth is full of pasta. She gasps and raises her hands to her mouth, “Oh no!”
Now I could have been really angry. As a mom, sometimes we have nothing for ourselves, nothing that belongs to us without little hands tugging at it, pulling at it, touching it. This cup of tea represented something that was mine, and now it had buttered pasta floating in it.
Well I just started cracking up. Inhalations of patience and huge exhalations of humor. R’s mouth transformed from an “O” to a giant smile with chubby cheeks full of pasta, her eyes sparkled, and she started clapping. L joined in with the giggling, and baby V too with her gummy grin.
And I sat there, admiring the moment, appreciating what was fleeting. They’ll be in pre-school soon, and we won’t be able to have a leisurely breakfast every morning. In that breath, I was thankful for my humor because it allowed me to treasure the experience instead of become frustrated. Taking a hot beverage away from a sleep deprived mama is always a bad idea, but instead of chucking the cup, I just grabbed a fork, fished out the noodle, and kept on drinking. What’s a little buttered macaroni in my tea compared to delight shared with my children?