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Starbucks Girl

With some regularity Maddie and I find
ourselves out for a doctor’s appointment or whatever and
Maddie will need a little extra one-on-one time with Mommy. I often
schedule appointments on Wednesdays and will take Maddie out of
school early, hit the appointment, and have half an hour or so
before going to Maddie’s ballet class. And just like
grown-ups with some time to kill and a bit of thirst to them,
Maddie and I head to Starbucks.

We’ve been a few times now, and
it’s startling to me how easily Maddie has adapted to the
Starbucks culture. She’ll walk up to the refrigerated
counter, confidently grab a chocolate milk, step up to the barista
and say, “This for me, and a soy chai latte for my mom,
please.” Then she’ll look at me hopefully and say,
“Can we go for a slice of lemon pound cake as well?”

Our drinks ready, Maddie makes a beeline for the leather chairs and
pulls a side table in between them for optimum comfort and pound
cake-reaching. We’ll snuggle in our big stuffed chairs and
munch and sip in contented silence, Maddie sighing happily every
once in a while. The introvert in her clearly thinks this is a
great place – good food and drink, no one bothers you, rather
quiet – and I can see with great clarity that ten years from
now she’ll be saving up her allowance and riding her bike to
the store with a book in her backpack.

Yesterday we shared our companionable silence for a while until
Maddie said, “I want my next birthday party to be

What? I mean, I know it’s nice, but a birthday party?

“What do you like about it, honey?” I asked.

“Well, we can have chocolate milk, and the cake is good
– and it’s LEMON! So Elise will like it- and we’d
just rent the place just for us and enjoy it. I like that
it’s quiet and comfy, and they play good music.” And
since Ray Lamontagne was singing at the time I had to agree.

“We’ll see, hon. I don’t think they close
Starbucks for private parties.” Maddie nodded, content to
leave the issue unresolved for the time being.

We sat quietly for a few more minutes, each with our own thoughts.
Then she reached over and happily patted me on the knee, saying,
“This is the life.” I looked at her, happy and relaxed
in her leather chair, and had to agree with her.


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