In my family, dinner ended with the children being excused to go play and the adults sitting around 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 to the conversation.
When I was finally invited to join the adults-somewhere in adolescence-I was allowed to drink half my milk and fill the glass up with coffee. What a privilege that was! And what an awful taste! Although I tried to sip with nonchalance, I secretly wondered why anyone could prefer this bitter dark liquid to a can of cold pop?
Maybe growing up wasn't so great after all. I thought that being an adult meant doing anything you wanted, having all the power and all the freedom. Instead, I heard them worrying about money and politics and war, about jobs and neighbors. Still, I stayed at the table and got used to the taste-and today I drink it as hot and black as I can get it.
And it occurs to me that being an adult is a little like drinking coffee-dark and bitter at times. And even so, a privilege.