Tuesday, October 23, 2012

On Coffee Grounds and Boys

I secretly want a Keurig.  Actually, I secretly think I want one.  There are many reasons I suspect my thinking is wrong. For instance I thought cassette tapes were the best, easy to use and sensible.  I thought I wanted a Mazda Miata when they came out.  I use a PC instead of a Mac.  I think VHS tapes are fine.

Also, I'd miss the process of making coffee, although I grumble about making it when I am groggy.  It is one of those essential skills every man should have, like cooking an omelet or loosening a stubborn bolt.  I like the sound of the glass coffee jar opening, the measuring just so, the pouring just so.  I don't even really mind the wait - wipe a counter, watch a squirrel, chat with a boy.

But mostly, I like the smell.  The smell of coffee is arguably better than the taste of coffee.  The aroma is different all through the process; deep and rich and leathery as you scoop it into the filter; moist and dank and secretive as the steam gurgles around and away from the pot; perfect and balanced, mellowed with milk and sugar as it comes to your lips.  But that's just me...

There is something I have never told anyone about, nothing serious.  Honestly until right now I never realized it was a secret:  Nick helps me make my coffee in the morning.  When he was littler he just pushed the button, but, these days he does a lot.  He scoops it; he helps dump the old grounds and what's left in the pot; he fills the water sometimes but he doesn't like that so much (it is awkward); he talks to me.

You see, young boys need to know what it is to be a man.  Nick has gotten it into his head that cofeemaking is important.  He takes it very seriously, and, in the quiet of our little kitchen, in the early morning light, it is serious.

He listens, I listen, we listen to the morning and the pot, waiting for the beep together.  He asks about stuff; birds and soaring, happiness and history, soccer and shoes, beer bottles and cake, God and timelessness, hope and longing.  I answer as honestly as I dare, knowing the road to manhood is difficult, inexplicable, heartbreaking and magical.  I answer the best I can.

This morning, as he carefully measured the scoops into the filter, counting in his head, he said, almost as an aside:  "I love the smell of coffee."

"I do too, Nick."

"Yeah, Dad, you're a lot like me."

Yes I am.  I don't think I'll be ordering that Keurig any time soon.

You may remember from some of my past posts that I believe there is always more to every story, and there is a little more to this one.  As I was writing the above I remembered that they had done a little thing at school about 'Home Sweet Home' which I thought might be cute to include in this post.  This is Zack's, which I had saved because I like the house drawing:

It says "Home sweet Home  Home sweet Home.  our House is sweet to everyone It meats (meets).  Our House is so so much fun.  our House.  Our House I (is) so loveing (loving).  Home Sweet  Zachary Roger"

Well, you know what, even I don't save everything, so I had to go trash-fishing to find Nick's:

At the top is the picture of  'Home Sweet Home' and below is his little essay:  "home sweet home  in my home we work together!  are (Our) cats are nice.  are (Our) nana's house is fare (far) away are (our) gramma's house are close to us!  are (Our) bak-yard (backyard) is big but fun.  we are the best kuoonitey (community, worst cutest spelling, ever) together!  By nick."

Oh, and never mind the messiness, the pages got all blotched up when Nick dumped the old coffee grounds on them this morning.


  1. We have a Kurieg. I'm not gonna lie, it's fantastic. And I don't even drink coffee. What do I love the most about it? The fact that Youngest makes us coffee/tea/hot cocoa anytime we want it.

    It's all about dividing the workload around here. :)

  2. What a grear opportunity to have special time with Nick. I know there are many subjects to be discussed. The smell of coffee is so good.