Tuesday, November 1, 2016

My Mug Runneth Over

I have a tendency to break things. I have broken countless glasses over the years, and more than a few plates. This is because I am a clumsy and totally disinterested dish washer. I also break necklaces and lose earrings regularly, because I am a slapdash and indifferent jewelry wearer. In short, you should not trust me with any delicate item you own (I know I certainly don’t!)

And what I don’t break, I lose. I’m sure my sister regrets that I ended up with our Nana’s china statues of figures from The Mikado (Nana taught music and often staged operettas with her New York city students. These were a retirement gift from them). As of today, I have one little statue left, and one of the hands has broken off.


So why do I still have the coffee mug I received from Steve on my first Mother’s Day, 32 years ago? Not only do I still have it, but it has nary a chip, and the design on the mug is as colorful as it was on Day One. It has never gone missing. It is my mug of choice for my daily four huge doses of caffeine. Whenever I was pregnant and off the java, my “mom” mug was filled with hot cocoa (and I always thought I had broken the coffee habit at last—until right after each delivery. I’d ask for coffee almost before I’d ask to hold the baby!)

When our Aiden came along, he was enthralled by my mug. The motif (the word MOM spelled out in many different sizes and colors) is an eye-catcher, and a great way to practice an early word. Aiden used to have breakfast sitting on my lap, and would point gleefully to each MOM, vocalizing every one (“Momomomomomomom!”). So now, when I sip my hot beverages, I savor happy memories of my grandson too.

I know it’s just a thing, and someday it is bound to break or get lost. But after 32 years it holds the record for longest-used item in the house, and I hate to think of the day when it will be no more. Oh, I have a cabinet filled with other mugs, souvenirs of trips to Jamaica and Guatemala, a gift from PJ’s time in Germany. A mug from Think Coffee, where Julie is a barista. And I would be sorry to wave goodbye to any of them. But the Mom mug is special. It has survived over three decades with me, and that is no small feat. Protecting it requires me to handle it with care, and that is good for me.

At a Paris cafe--nice cup, but no comparison!

My mug is at my side as I write this. The cheery red and blue and green lettering reminds me that I AM a “mom”, five times over, a fact which still amazes me. And while I know I define myself in other ways too, my favorite role in life is right there. Printed on an ordinary, extraordinary coffee mug.

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