Ok, I've obviously been to Starbucks before. I've even been to this Starbucks before, 2 or 3 times maybe. But tonight is a different thing altogether.
Today's New Activity: Post-Sleepytime Starbucks Outing
In case it wasn't obvious, I love coffee. And like many people of my generation, I also love the coffee culture. I love that there are places to go besides bars where friends can meet and hang out, especially when the places are open late.
When I was in high school there was exactly *one* coffee shop I knew of, period. I went to high school in Phoenix, AZ, so we were probably a bit behind on the coffee movement, but I'm quite certain there weren't widespread coffee shop hangouts happening anywhere outside of Greenwich Village or Seattle back then.
The Coffee Plantation near ASU was a sprawling joint with cushy chairs and wobbly tables, and a menu full of sweet coffee drinks for those of us whose young palates had yet to appreciate the taste of coffee itself. I remember going there with my friends and feeling absurdly intimidated by the whole thing...way out of my league among all the smoking, sexing college folk whose territory we were surely invading. And back then, we were. How nice that today's youth don't have any such concerns. How nice that they aren't forced to hang out in arcades and parking lots, unless they're just dying to.
Tonight I decided to do my blogging (still had yesterday's post to finish up) outside the house and away from the t.v. which--even if I'm not paying attention to it--almost always manages to leave me feeling a little bit sad, like I just wasted a little bit of life (unless it's a show I just love, which is rare, and which I would be watching on DVR anyway).
To be out here among other laptopping fools at 10:30pm is to feel like the time after The Monkey goes to sleep is more than just a slow downward spiral to my own bedtime. Rather, it's a new phase of the day, the entering of a new kind of consciousness. A gift, really.
It's not something I want to do everyday. Believe me I feel incredibly fortunate I can do it at all. My parents are wonderful to encourage me to do things like this, or to go to the gym (so therapeutic) after the baby has gone to sleep. And I am lucky The Monkey and I are living in their home, where I know he is sleeping safely and in the presence of two of the people who love him most in the world, should he awake while I'm away.
I used to wonder why my friend Nicole--who was a mom 7 years before I ventured into mom territory--was always up so late and always up for super late night hangouts. And why was she always going on about how amazing it was to be talking to adults? Gee, they're just giant versions of your kid with slightly better vocabularies (?)
Uh.....no. I get it now.
I will sacrifice any amount of sleep in the interest of experiencing stolen moments in which I am not telling a little half-pint to take something questionable out of his mouth, not changing or feeding anybody, not taking on the Sisyphean task of enforcing boundaries with an impulse-happy toddler . Not gonna mention any names. But the late night and the early morning are now my very best friends. And it's just an added bonus to have any of this time happen out in public, where I can siphon a little bit of energy off my well-rested fellow adults, even if I'm not talking to or interacting with them.