A coffee drinker’s reflection

Martha Popson

By Martha Popson

Before I was a mother, I was a dedicated coffee drinker. That habit began in childhood.  In the beginning, the cup held mostly milk, with a few drops of coffee, a family tradition for the kids. 

Over the years the proportion changed.    By the time I sat and rocked babies of my own, I was up to coffee with a few drops of milk. That little bit made all the difference for plain old black coffee just did not appeal.

But then, but then. I would get all settled with the baby and the coffee and would realize that I had forgotten to add the milk. It just was not worth the trouble to get up and put it in. Rocking the baby mattered more. So I drank it black.

Becoming a mother changes one in ways large and small. The other day I was at an event with my daughter-in-law, who had brought a thermos of coffee. She offered me some, adding “it has cream in it, is that all right?” And, I, black coffee drinker for years, said: “Sure.”


Being a mother means being flexible. There is no expiration date to adjusting to the situation. The thing that matters most, still and always, is being with the kid, birthed or acquired. 

It has been a surprise, how much change continues to be called for even as the babies now have children of their own. Help me remember that presence is still more important than details.  Help them to remember that I am still their mother who rocks them nightly in the lap of her heart. God, grant us the gift of concentrating on what matters, not the details. Amen.

(Popson is a member of St. Anthony Parish in Knoxville.)

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