I love coffee! I drink coffee every morning. On the weekends, I could continue drinking it through the afternoon. Occasionally, on days that I am really tired, I will grab a cup of coffee on my way home from work.While I love Starbucks, I don’t often stop there. Usually, I make my coffee at home, or if I do buy it, I grab it from McDonald’s. $1 is much better than $5 for a cup of coffee! Sometimes though, on those rough days or days I just feel like treating myself I will get my favorite coffee from Starbucks, a skinny vanilla latte; steamed to a kids temperature. I order that EVERY time. There is a story behind the order, but that is not what I am writing about today.
Today, I am writing about another tradition that I started years ago when my kids were little. I would get up early and pack two kids in the car to go grocery shopping. Life was harder, money was tighter, and I was exhausted most of the time. I did my grocery shopping at Target and it was one with a Starbucks in it. When I needed a little something, just for me, I would treat myself to a skinny vanilla latte, steamed to a kids temp, every time. I knew when I walked in if it was one of those days. I would say to my kids, “If you are really good today, when we are done, I will get you a strawberry banana smoothie.” Both kids loved them, and even though they were always good, it gave them a little extra incentive. We would finish our grocery shopping and we would all get our treats. I would order one smoothie with an extra cup. I would split the smoothie, so each kid would get half and we all left happy.
After a few years of that, Starbucks stopped making and selling the strawberry banana smoothies, so on that day, the kids’ treats became cake pops. At this point, it was less about bribing them to be good and more about all of us just wanting, and deserving a treat. Today, on my way home from work, I stopped at Starbucks. It is Monday, I didn’t sleep well, I was multitasking all day and I was heading to pick my kids up from their dad’s. It had already felt like a long day and my second shift was just starting, I needed an afternoon coffee. I ordered, as always, a skinny vanilla latte and then added 2 cake pops to my order. The kids were not even with me yet. Most likely, my coffee would be gone by the time I met them. I could hide the cup, I could say, “Sorry, I just got a coffee” or I could continue our tradition.
As I waited for my ex-husband to meet me with my kids, I sipped my coffee, checked my email and saw them pulling in. We put bags in the trunk and said goodbye to their dad. Before we pulled away, I handed them the bag of 2 cake pops. They loved that I bought them a little treat, each grabbed one with big smiles and they were gone in seconds, I finished my coffee, and as I drove home, I thought about all these traditions the 3 of us have made, and I smiled.
Thanks Starbucks for being our little treat 🙂