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Happiness Is An Hour At Starbucks

I’ve written before about the
afternoons Maddie and I have spent during one-on-one times at
Starbucks; we were looking for a place to rest and have a drink in
between events one day, and she quickly fell in love with the huge
leather chairs and almost-as-large cookies. She and Cora have been
having a rough time with my work schedule the past couple of weeks,
and so once a week I’ve carved out an afternoon to hit the

And let me tell you, it is absolute greatness.

I pick an afternoon with no ballet, no
play dates, no early teaching schedules. I grab Cora, load up the
car, and then pick up Maddie. When I tell them we’re heading
to Starbucks they both scream for joy.

When we enter Starbucks, it’s clear we’re there for a
LONG while. First, I pity the person standing in line behind us,
because the girls take an eternity deciding between a cake pop or a
chocolate-chocolate-chip brownie, not to mention picking out the
perfect bag of popcorn to go with it. So we take a loooooooooong

When our order’s finally ready and the girls are clutching
their apple juices and snacks, we find the perfect resting spot.
And dig in. And I mean, dig in.

We bring in a stack of books to read – probably five or six
on any given Starbucks day. We rearrange chairs to bring two
leather armchairs together with a small table between them for
holding snacks – if the weather is bad. If the weather is
good, we head outdoors and do the same thing, with the addition of
an extra chair for us to prop feet up on. Then the girls snuggle on
my lap, spilling over on to arm rests, and we settle in for a good
hour or so.

Obnoxious? I’m not sure. The girls don’t go crazy and
run around and scream, but we certainly do take up a fair amount of
space. No more space, though, than a couple business men spread out
with their laptops and briefcases, so who can really complain? And
I’ve had more than one person stop by and murmur something to
the effect of, “I wish my mom had done something like this
with me,” or “You seem to really love your kids,
they’re so lucky,” so I can only imagine the
adorable-albeit-21st-century-picture we must paint.

All I know is that for a couple of hours, time is suspended. No one
can reach me, there’s no email, no job pressing on me except
my babies on my lap. I’m sipping my chai and reading
Blueberries for Sal and life is pretty great.

And that is absolutely worth ten bucks.


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