Monday, October 14, 2013

It's time to put down the coffee.

It's not like I was checking Facebook. It happened while I was attending to the little guy—who was shouting through the window to shut the door "so mosquitoes wouldn't get in." Mosquitoes only would have gotten into the mudroom, plus it was 7:30 am, but that's besides the point. I wanted him to feel he was being heard. (And I wanted reinforce this way of thinking, in a house that typically has at least one door totally ajar.) I stood up and shut the door.

It was an awkward half lounge/left-handed door shove, and I was gripping a canary-yellow coffee mug (that I don't even like very much) in my right hand. And what happened as a result was that drops of my cafe au lait showered down onto Julian's Fossils of Lake Champlain coloring page.  My heart skipped a beat. But Jules started laughing (an automatic reaction, it now seems) so I thought we were good. I expected bad—after all, my autopilot coffee-sloshing had ruined his work—but all seemed good.

So I said this: "Let it dry. You'll have tan spots but it will be okay. I'm sorry. It was accident. It was my bad - but totally an accident." 

It was the apology that seemed to stoke the reaction I'd first expected: cry, following by rubbing (which ripped a hole into a yet-to-be colored coral creature of some sort), followed by accusations and demands that we go to back to the museum to get another page to color RIGHT NOW.

We couldn't go now -  the bus was 2 minutes away. He had school. I had work. We would go on Friday when I was taking the day off, when he was off of school. The promise did not placate. Jules was pissed. With good right. I mean we all make mistakes but it doesn't seem okay that a careless coffee-splashing door-slammer should be able to get away with ruining your art in a single sloppy lunge. And without any apparent consequences.

It was a wake up and smell the, um, coffee moment. I move mindlessly from moment to moment of my day, coffee cup in hand. It's sort of ridiculous when you think about it. So I'm imposing a penance: Only 2 cups of coffee today. Sitting and savored. I'm sorry, Jules.

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