Thursday, September 15, 2011

For The Love Of Joe (and Sammy Joe)

I love Joe. And what’s not to love? Joe wakes me up each morning with a kiss of cinnamon and a whiff of vanilla. Joe wraps me in creamy-sweet caffeinated goodness. Joe makes me a happier person, and let’s face it, a better mother, too.

Ah, coffee! My divine friendship with the cuppa began as a young girl, when my pastor (unorthodox, I know) first introduced me to coffee. My parents were good friends with our pastor and his wife, having spent a lot of hours around kitchen tables together, discussing life and spirituality between cups of joe. I, too, wanted to belong to this holy and mysterious fellowship. Pastor poured out equal measures of coffee and cream, with a few teaspoons of sugar for good measure. It was warm and sweet and smelled like heaven. Instant friends.

During my years as a young wife and java mama, coffee was the life coach that stood by my side each day, quietly whispering in my ear “You can do it!” Coffee was the fuel that kept the mommy machine operating each day. Laundry, sip. Cooking, sip. Cleaning, sip. Staying up all night with a feverish child, gulp!

Cappuccino and I became friends a few years later. My boss, Carol, often came to work each morning with a pep in her step, carrying a Styrofoam cup of frothy, heavenly scented cappuccino. English Toffee. She brought me a cup one morning, and I swear, I was the most productive worker she’d ever seen that day. She could’ve skipped the paychecks from that day on and just paid me in cappuccinos, and I would have been a happy worker bee.

But one morning the cappuccino tasted a little off. As a matter of fact, a lot of things began to taste a little off. And a few weeks later I found out why. In addition to being the mother of a teenager and an adolescent, I was about to become the mother of son number three.

My husband took the shock pretty well. We tried not to do the math too often. (How old will we be when this baby starts kindergarten? High School? College?) I took it all in stride. God had a plan for our family. This new baby would just add to our blessings.

My positive attitude lasted until the first official visit with the obstetrician She told me a new list of foods to avoid. Tuna? Not a problem. Feta cheese and bagged salad? A small sacrifice for the health of my baby. Alcohol? Completely understandable. But wait. Did you just say coffee? Coffee? My best friend, coffee?

The little blessing suddenly became the alien that took over my body, robbing me of my warm liquid joy. Nine months without coffee. I pictured my boss firing me, my husband leaving me, and my children abandoning me after the first week of caffeine withdrawl.

It wasn’t always pretty, but I did survive.

One lovely day on the cusp of autumn, baby Samuel Joseph was born. He had coffee colored hair, creamy skin, and the sweetest smell known to woman. Naturally, I fell in love. On the day we brought him home from the hospital, my husband told me he had an errand to run, and he returned a few minutes later with a steaming cup of English Toffee cappuccino.

What a husband! God has blessed me with all of these wonderful men in my life. They love me, with or without Joe. And though they’ve never confessed it, I’m sure they prefer the fully caffeinated mom to the decaff variety. Who can blame them? I prefer the Java Mama, too.

Happy Birthday to my Sammy Joe. You are sweeter than a cinnamon dolce latte, and you make my life grande!

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8


  1. Loved this blog posting Mary. Happy Birthday week Sam. Love your favorite Aunt Susie (even if I am your only Aunt Susie)

  2. So Sweet...isn't it funny how easy it is to make changes (or give things up) when the outcome is so important to us! That said...I'm in agreement...I am crazy about the Joe's in my life too! Happy "Late-Official" Birthday Sam. And we both know who your favorite aunt REALLY is! Oh, favorite Aunt Jenny that is!