But first, coffee.

Perhaps I overestimated my abilities and underestimated my time when I arranged our family schedule last Spring.

Before the trees blossomed and the Calgary grass turned from brown to less-brown, I had to choose many of our kiddo’s extra-curriculars for the coming year.

I thought I had been strategic and even frugal with their commitments, but reality has set in this September and I’m totally overwhelmed.

Don’t get me wrong; the school, pre school and after school programs we’ve chosen have been excellent. It’s the pick-up, drop-off, kid-carting that’s totally exhausting.

My only savior: the joy and growth these activities provide my kids coffee.

As long as I can sit and sip just one cup of creamy caffeine at some point before noon, I’m good. But this rarely happens.

Piping hot, filled-to-the-brim coffee mugs seem to be a radar for toddlers who suddenly want to sit on your lap, climb your coffee table, or drink what Mommy’s drinking. (My daughter has now repeatedly reported to teachers that her Mommy has a special drink every day and no one is allowed to talk to her).

As a child, I remember my mother pouring her coffee and carting it upstairs as she got ready for work. My father would (and still does) wake at an ungodly early hour to enjoy his cup of joe and newspaper in peace.

My husband takes his hot java in his most precious accessory, his travel mug. I did not realize the depth of his attachment to this routine until I lost his mug – as I am apt to do – and what can only be described as a period of mourning ensued.

Whatever the vessel, coffee somehow has to make its way from bean to brew to my lips each morning for me to feel ready for the day. Yes, this is called addiction, but it is also self-preservation.

I’m protecting this moment for myself every day, so I can feel happy, whole and caffeinated.

Isn’t that just good parenting?

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