Cafecito with Mom

In December, my mom stayed with me for two weeks to help me as I recovered from surgery. When I say help, it means she made sure I didn’t get up and break doctor’s orders, cooked all of the things with my husband, and cleaned everything that maybe didn’t need cleaning. Every morning, after mini-me got to school, we sat at the kitchen table and had coffee.

Morning coffee chats across the table typically revolved around whether or not we needed extra coffee, updates with my sisters, a good morning from my 20 year old as he headed off to work, toast or breakfast tacos, a chat with my dad who was home alone. In two short weeks, I grew accustomed to cafecito with Mom. We had one more chat before my husband dropped her off at the airport to return home.

Winter break gave me about three extra weeks of down time. When she returned home, we continued our morning cafecito dates via Face Time. I’d hear my phone ping: “Cafecito?”

“Hold on! I just got up. Give me 10 minutes.”

The coffee gets started, I pull my hair into its morning ponytail and retrieve my laptop. The screen is bigger. Coffee steaming, I bring it to the table and start the call. We chat. Dad pops in to say hi before he goes out for his morning run. Mom shakes her head because we know it’s too cold for him to go out, but it’s pointless. Bundled up, he goes anyway.

We continued these cafecito dates every morning until I returned to work in January. I don’t know why we didn’t do this before; Face Time is something we were already using. Getting accustomed to that morning rhythm helped us establish a new way to check in. Now it’s on weekends, sometimes Saturday and Sunday, sometimes on one of the two days.

We chatted again this morning, discussing a pan dulce* flavored coffee I sent her last week. “It would be so much better with a concha, but I’m going gluten-free for Lent.”

“Oh just eat whatever you want and don’t worry about it,” she reassures.

It’s a seasonal flavor, but I’ll stock up on what I can find in the clearance section. No big plans for the weekend, but at least the wind has calmed down where she lives. The Texas panhandle is notorious for windstorms that will kick up the dust nonstop for several consecutive days.

“You remember my friend…?”

“I saw the obituary for…I thought she looked familiar.”

“Hold on, your dad wants to say hi.”

“I don’t know why she doesn’t want me to…” Dad starts.

And so it goes.

Saying goodbye a few times, our conversation doesn’t seem to end. Either one of us will interject something on our way out of the call and we wind up talking for another fifteen minute chunk.

My second cup of coffee is nearly empty, so I know it’s time to get on with life on my side of the screen and let her get on with hers. She has my niece’s birthday party to attend.

“Have a slice of cake for me!”

“Sure will.”

The call ends and I close my computer. I’m looking forward to spring break so we can meet for cafecito every morning.

*Pan dulce is Mexican sweet bread, or pastries, many of us enjoy dunking into our cafecito (coffee).

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Tracker Hackers

Adult chore charts
Reading logs gone wild
Oh brain,
why can't you learn to 
bend a little?

If I fill every box
every day
does that mean I'm 
suffocating?

If I skip a week,
two,
three,
does that mean I'm dead?

No.
It means 
I'm too
busy,
flat out gave up
for a bit,
went on 
vacation

Too rigid?
Perhaps
I like to see 
the ebb and flow
of life
on paper
[I must] take care
not to become
over dependent on them,
after all,
am I focusing on
checking off little boxes
or on the better, 
bigger things 
around me?

They're a shot 
in my arm,
accountability
for (hopefully) doing 
the right things
that are hard to do
so I can be better
at the ones 
that matter

They're a heartbeat 
of sorts
multicolored
messy 
proof that I'm doing my
best at life

I've seen interesting ones:
meatless Mondays
no sugar
no booze
daily journaling
wordle
dating
no spending
devotionals
screen time (usually less)
social media posts (usually more)

Mine remain steady, 
seems I can't build those [good]
habits
yet

I've tried giving up
tracking everything
becoming robotic
in spewing out 
my own 
data
my internal 
algorithm
can't seem 
to compute
making me feel 
like a failure 
at times

I still go back to them
proving
I can create habits
for behaviors
I need to change
adding challenges
through 
my own volition

(like writing 
for 31 days
straight)