Virtual Hot Cocoa

Cathy suggested we have a cup of virtual coffee together, much like Corinne’s weekly series.   I think this is a wonderful idea and will only tweak it a little–by making mine a cup of hot chocolate.   Don’t worry, you can keep your cup of coffee if you’d like.

If we met for hot chocolate, we would exchange holiday stories.  I would tell you mine were perfect: Relaxed and guilt-free.  Ben and I decided on a new tradition that will take a couple years to get going, but we are very excited to see it come to pass.

I would ask about your family then tell you about mine: How Andrew took his first steps on Christmas Eve among wild applause and shouts of, “Hooray!”;  that I finally conceded to potty training Emily because she is doing it all on her own. You would laugh as I describe how she marches right to her little potty when she needs to relieve herself, stands up and yells, “I go pee pee, Mommy!” when she’s finished and helps me empty the bowl it into the toilet.  Afterward, she instantly demands a treat.  Which I often agree to because she is just so big and I am just so proud.  You would ask about Ben and I would share how marvelous it was to have him work only one job over Christmas break.  We had so much fun together.

You would ask how I’m feeling.  A little rough emotionally, I’d explain, especially since some of my friends are having their babies right now.   It makes me hurt knowing that I won’t be holding mine in May, even as I take comfort in knowing she (I always knew it was a she) is being held by God in Heaven.  Physically…well I’d quickly change the subject because that’s a sore (no pun intended) topic right now.

We would swap resolutions lists.  I would tell you that I don’t expect perfection in my goals, just gradual changes as I continue to grow through my experiences.  You would nod your head at my wisdom and then we’d both collapse in fits of giggles because, let’s be honest, “being wise” isn’t my greatest attribute.

As our time ended, always too quickly, we’d stand and give each other giant hugs.  We’d promise to meet at the same place, same time next week with new insights to share and stories to laugh about.

Until then…

What would you share?



Filed under Hot Cocoa

34 responses to “Virtual Hot Cocoa

  1. What big news at your house – first steps and potty training! Those are huge milestones, my friend. How exciting.

    I'm glad that you were able to enjoy so much special family time over the holidays and I hope that all continues to mend in 2011. xo

    • admin

      Huge indeed! Thank you, Kristen for the well wishes. I know you have some big changes ahead of you and look forward to learning with you.

  2. Today, I'm just scared about getting everyone up in time for school tomorrow. And wondering about how some dreams come true will likely put a damper on others. And wondering if I will ever get a handle on my messy house. And wishing for time. But wasting it. Yup. Fragmented.

    Good job being wise. I hope you feel better, in every which way.

    • admin

      Fragmented describes a good conversation between friends. : )

      I would tell you that I believe you will wake up in time tomorrow but I understand the worry in accomplishing this task.

      I would ask you what dreams you are referring to while nodding my head in agreement. It all comes down to choices–if you choose one thing you also choose not to do something else. A tricky decision.

      I would agree with you about messy houses. It seems that the holidays just make it messier!

      Thank you for joining in, Kate.

  3. That sounds simply delightful.

  4. I explain how the holidays were a little mellow, a bit melancholy you might say. But I'd go on the say that it was nice and a nice change of pace. It was difficult for me to get out of bed and actually sit for Christmas Eve dinner, but once I was there, I was fine.

    I'd let you know that my oldest was gone for an entire week skiing with a friend and his family. I would explain how his absence was both nice and slightly sad – his first New Year's Eve away from home, the first of many I'm sure. It was nice because it changed the dynamics of the house. There was a lot less fighting which made me feel both sad and relaxed. Why do teenagers cause so much angst?

    I'd also let you know that Mike and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. Unbelievable and remarkable. We've certainly had our ups and downs over the years and I'm happy for us for sticking with it. Marriage is work if you're doing it right.

    I'd also let you know that work is going to be really busy in the coming months, but I strive on the pressure and that's when I really perform. And, I wish I could perform without the pressure. Seems silly to not be able to.

    And, you would tell me that you read my first post in weeks, the first of the New Year and left a comment. And I would say, "yes I read it! Thanks for reading!"

    And we'd get up and hug and tell each other to give hugs and kisses to the little ones – and see you next week.

    • admin

      And I would let you talk. Understanding your need to say these things out loud in the company of a good friend.

      I cannot answer the angst question with your teenagers although I can understand it on a personal level. It wasn't too long ago that I was the cause of my own parent's angst. Though I know why they were worried and felt their rules were just, I wanted to grow some wings and fly away to freedom. Well…freedom and change because I recognized that I wanted to change my relationship with my parents but didn't know how until I moved away.

      I would tell you Happy Anniversary and present you with your favorite dessert. : )

      I would shake my head in amazement at your excitement with your work. I believe you are a wonderful woman who understands herself enough to know that pressure yields great results.

      And I would tell you, again, how happy I am that you are writing again. May you find the time you want to continue.

  5. I would talk about navigating the first Christmas with a married son. I hope you would share how you feel about the topic since you are eons younger than me and it is probably still something you are trying to figure out too!

    • admin

      (I'm sure you already do this, but since you asked…) I would tell you to not pressure the young marrieds. Keeping the holidays open as to who to spend what holidays with has been very nice for our little family. In turn, I would ask you what you expect from your son and his wife. I would like to be a better daughter-in-law but feel so uncomfortable in the role at times.

  6. Oh, I've been having coffee with you forever – you just didn't know it. Does that sound stalker-y? Cause it totally is :).

  7. What a great idea for a post. As I'm sitting here, sipping my tea – loved getting to know you better and hearing about what made your moments count this past year. Hugs to you and happy new year!

  8. I love this idea, Amber. First, I would join you for cocoa (I need to drink less coffee), and I would say "you go, girl!" to Emily, and ask if I could cuddle your little ones.

    I might tell you how badly I needed a break over "break" and didn't get one. I might tell you how tired I am and how I have to hide it from my children. I might tell you that teenagers – as Cathy mentioned – certainly complicate the dynamics of a household, even when the teenagers are "good kids" and respectful.

    I might tell you how proud I am of my sons, and how I must do a better job of walking away from them, of realizing they have to make more mistakes, even if the consequences are enormous. I might ask for a second cup of cocoa, because I could pretend it's chocolate! And then ask if I could curl up somewhere, and let someone else take over the worrying – just for a little while.

    • admin

      I just want to hug you right now and give you that break. I may not be able to assume your worries, but I could clean your house, cook a nice meal, and let you talk. As long as you could watch my babies for me. You could even cuddle them, if you feel so inclined. (Things I actually enjoy doing when I'm not harassed by little ones.)

      Teens can speak their minds–a big difference between your kids and mine. : ) One day I will be soliciting advice from both you and Cathy with my teens. For now, I am glad that both of you talk about the difficulties. Not in a whiny–"oh teens these days" but in a very direct and understandable manner. If that makes sense. (It's supposed to be a compliment.)

      I would also give refill your mug a second, third, and fourth time because chocolate is the best way to soothe troubled minds.

  9. Giant hugs, yes! And giant congratulations for first steps and pee-pee in the potty. And giant mugs of hot chocolate. With whipped cream. Yum!

  10. Love the idea (and I love hot chocolate ; )

    Exciting things going on at your house. I'd be standing up and cheering right along with the rest of you when Andrew took his first steps–that's such an exciting time ; ) And hooray for Emily, too.

    I hope each day gets better for you. Hugs.

    • admin

      Thank you, Yvonne! Maybe with all of you rooting Andrew might want start walking more than crawling!

  11. Di

    C'mon over, I say. What's your favourite cool drink? Lemonade? Juice? Oh. Hang on. The kids just drained the last of both. Oh. Well, it is cold where you are, so we can make do with Milo (do you have that?), or hot chocolate, but I'm slightly worried you won't be able to sleep afterwards from too much theobromine. Never mind that one or the other of us will be up in the middle of the night for our date, just to match up the time zones. But that's OK – good friends are worth it, and the effort to catch up is always repaid.

    Now, I put my cup down, and look squarely across the table at you. "Tell me how to do this potty training thing. I've forgotten how the other three ever learned, but they are indeed out of nappies, now they're in their teens and twenties, so it must have happened. But I can't remember how to do it, and now my youngest is three, and refuses to even look at the potty. Tell me everything you know".

    Then we glance over to where the kids are playing on the rug. They are busy going through each-others' toy baskets like it's treasure, because that's what other kids' toys are – it's like going on a voyage of discovery. We glance over at the couch, and we can just see the top of BLW's head under the patchwork quilt, where she's snuggled down and kipped out (do you have that expression?). We smile, and go back to our conversation. I ask you to give me your three top professions, if you could do anything you wanted (in these types of games we both pretend we don't have to be concerned for our kids – we have them, yes, but they are off being miraculously and meticulously cared for, and we can concentrate our entire being on something else). I am interested to hear what you might dream of being/doing, since I don't know what I would have answered when I was your age. I tell you that I wish I had continued my music studies, because I get goosebumps when I listen to my favourite choral pieces; that I had studied genetics or epidemiology instead of physiotherapy; and then, I can't think of a third option.

    I carry a plate of carrot straws, rice crackers and hommus over for the kids, who have the toys out all over the floor now, so I have to wade through it to get to them. I reassure you that the rug is indeed polypropylene, so I can take it outside and scrub it as need arises. And we relax into conversation again. Nice times.

    • admin

      Sigh. I miss the summer.

      Let the kids have the drinks, I'd tell you. I'm not familiar with Milo, though I just looked it up, but would gladly accept a glass of whatever beverage you'd offer. I concur that any loss of sleep would be worth it to meet, and chat with, a good friend.

      I couldn't tell you specifics of potty training as I'm still a newbie myself, but I would tell you to trust your own instincts. Though it has been awhile since you've potty trained any child, you will know when it is right for your youngest. Maybe she's just not ready to cross that threshold out of the toddler years.

      "My three top professions?" I'd ask. "Therapist, college professor, and an advocate for low income minorities. In no particular order. As for you, music studies is an excellent choice. I hope my own talents don't waste away over the years. Why genetics and epidemiology over physiotherapy?"

      I would feel grateful for your understanding manner of my very messy and active children. I would bask in the beauty of your daughter and pepper you with a million questions on what it's like to raise teenagers.

      Nice times indeed. Thanks for having me over!

  12. I love this idea. I would first have given you a giant bear hug that would have lasted at least 5 minutes! I would have been so excited for your kids' accomplishments and even more excited for the time spent with Ben. I would have shared how emotional I was this Christmas watching Olivia truly play with all of her toys and to have all 3 of my kids still believe in Santa and the magic of the season.

    • admin

      I can tell you that your excitement over the "magic of the season" would have left me smiling for days. Over our mugs of our hot beverage of choice, I would have laughed and cried with you about he amazing milestones Olivia has reached. And maybe laughed and cried about the difficulty of raising children.

  13. I love this idea Amber. I would sip my chai latte and tell you that I am excited and nervous about my four year old turning five this week. The innocence evaporating scares me. I might tell you that I think about giving her a sister or brother, but that I am scared of hospitals and doctors and everything medical since my father died.

    I might tell you that I need more time to focus on my novel. I might tell you that sometimes I am scared that I don't have the momentum to write it.

    I would also tell you that I am so proud of your little ones milestones. And that the stress of med school and residency and all of that will be over before you know it. With that I would smile and give you a hug.

    Terrific idea. Thanks for letting me have coffee with you.

    • admin

      I would nod in understanding at your excitement and nervousness. Knowing you look forward to this new and exciting stage but feel overwhelmed by the quick passage of time. I would also listen to you as you describe your fears of hospitals and doctors, letting you talk without inputting my own opinions, knowing you will make the right choice for you and your family but need to talk it out with someone.

      I would offer encouragement about your novel but understanding your fears about losing your momentum. If it's what you really want, than I believe you have it in you, so keep pressing forward.

      I would tell you, secretly, how excited I am for medical school and residency. There is something exciting about moving on from undergraduate school into the vast, unknown world of medical school.

      Thank you for coming over.

  14. Love this. Isn't this what blogging is at its very best? The sharing of stories and self over virtual beverages of courage and choice?

    • admin

      Yes it is. This wonderful, supportive group of women and men that have kept me afloat with their wise words and warm embraces.

  15. Melanie Jacobson

    Oh, I really, really wish Grant would potty train himself. He's constitutionally opposed to it at the moment.

  16. Mckenzie

    You know what? You and I really DO need to get together for hot chocolate! I even have a cocomotion, which makes it all frothy and what not. * HUGS *

    • admin

      Cocomotion sounds delicious! I do agree, we should set up a time! (Seriously…let's set up a time.)

  17. Your kids are getting so grown up, so fast! I can just picture Ms Emily doing her thing whether you're ready or not. She'll likely drag you the whole way into her adulthood. (Sorry if that visual was a little overwhelming.)

    • admin

      It's only overwhelming because IT'S TRUE! She is at times unbearable but mostly adorable. I just need to remember what her twos are really teaching me, and her.