Slowing Life Down and Remembering How It All Started

It’s not unusual to be opening the door to Starbucks at 4 pm on a Sunday afternoon. I had just made my third trip out to the grocery shopping. Forgetting a key ingredient in the evening’s main dish does that to a person. But as I opened the door, there they were sitting at a high-top table in Starbucks. Sitting on the same side of the table each with a drink of some form in front of them. I can only imagine that it was some form of Starbucks pumpkin spice or salted caramel.

They probably didn’t notice me, but I sure saw them. The couple was older, I won’t guess ages because I’ve been known to offend people with my guesses; my very own mother in law can tell you all about that. They say there reading a book. The man had a hard copy of a book, the title escapes me, turning the pages as he read and the women an iPad that I’m sure doubled as a way to FaceTime with her grandkids.

Couple on a date in Starbucks
2015 Valentine’s Day Date in Starbucks

As I sat there waiting for my mobile order to finish, I couldn’t help but smile thinking back to when my wife and I started dating. Starbucks was our date of choice in the evenings. As a school teacher and overnight news photographer, it would be the only way that we would get to spend any real time together, even if it was reading books together drinking coffee.

The barista without even reading my name handed me the iced coffee with milk… sweetened because that is how my wife drinks it.

As I walked out the door, I looked back. This couple reading a book in Starbucks were obviously completely in love with each other. Their arms were touching ever so slightly as they sat next to each other. But the moment I looked back, I saw the woman lean over into the man.

Family in Baltimore, Maryland on Vacation
Our Baltimore vacation in 2013.

I have no idea what their situation is, I don’t know if they were experiencing hardship and Starbucks had become their coping mechanism and reading a book together was their form of escape from the world that their lives revolve around. But there they sat, supporting and enjoying each other’s company.

As I drove home, sipping on my Salted Sweet Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew, I started to think about how quickly life flies by. It seems like just yesterday, I was on bended knee, 5 months into a relationship, asking my now wife to marry me. The memories of the candle-laden loft apartment are etched into my mind.

Slowing Life Down
My wife and I circa 2008.

For these last 10 years that my wife and I have been married, it feels as though we have been going down a highway at 110 mph. We moved into our first home, started a renovation, and learned we were going to start a family together all within a months’ time.

Man scared of renovation
Renovation of our first home in 2010.

Then as soon as we thought we had it all figured out, my wife made the decision to go back to school, graduated, moved into what we hope is our forever home, passed the bar exam, and found out we would be welcoming yet another boy into our home.

Boy excited to meet his new brother.
The birth of our second born in 2016.

While it feels that our lives go by so fast, we do what we can to slow it down and remember how this incredible ride started. Taking time for just the two of us whether it is under the candlelight of our favorite restaurant or walking around a bookstore looking for the next book that we will be reading together in Starbucks.

As we prepare for our 10-year anniversary, it is time to slow life down and reconnect once again. Much like that couple in Starbucks, as we make our way to the destination of our second honeymoon, our arms, will be touching every so slightly, if we aren’t holding hands, offering up the comfort of being together and serving as a reminder to slow things down this next week and just spend time together.

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