In my family, dinner ended with the children being excused to go play while the parents and grandparents stayed at the table to drink coffee and talk. At first, I was eager to leave but as I got older, I yearned to stay and listen.
When I was finally invited to join the adults (somewhere in adolescence) I discovered the price of admission. If I drank half my milk, I could fill the glass with coffee. What a privilege! And what an awful taste!
I tried to sip with nonchalance but secretly wondered why anyone could prefer this bitter dark liquid to a can of cold pop? Maybe growing up wasn’t such a great thing.
I thought being an adult meant doing anything you wanted, having all the power and all the freedom. Instead, I heard them worrying about taxes and illness, politics and war. Still, I stayed at the table and got used to the taste. Today I drink it as hot and black as I can get it.
And I’ve decided that being an adult is a little like drinking coffee—dark and bitter at times. Even so, a privilege.