Her “work”

Jan 16

Last week I found myself sitting across from my favorite five-year-old at Starbucks.

I had some computering I needed to do, and Brad was home while Greta napped.  When Brad is not home, I would normally set Maren up with an activity or a movie while I did my “work,” but on this day I suggested that we leave the house and go to Starbucks together and “work.”

I asked her if she would like to pack her backpack with things to do and go to have a hot chocolate with me.  She  packed her own bag, and I did not check the contents to see what she was bringing.  I loaded my own computer and bag o’stuff, and off we went.

At Starbucks, she ordered her own drink: a Kid’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate, and I got my usual Peppermint Mocha.  The total for a tall Mocha and a Kid’s drink is five dollars even, in case you are wanting to take your pint-sized side kick to Starbucks.  It’s not a bad price for some multi-tasking.

We sat down at a table and settled down to work.

From her backpack, she pulled out her three-ring binder (which she calls her “Field Journal”), several pieces of paper, her “Very Badly” (aka, Vera Bradley) purse with colored pencils in it, her three-hole punch, and her school reading books.  She settled down to work and created several pieces of art, which she then punched, and put in her Field Journal.  When she had used up all of her paper, she read her school books.  And finally, she came around my side of the table to sit on my lap, review her work, and snuggle.

I know what you’re thinking.  And the answer is: Yes, my child has her own three-hole punch.  It was the number one item on her Christmas list this year.  Number two was a request for her own Scotch tape dispenser.  I don’t even know what to say about this.  Except, I know: my kids is awesome.  And organized.

Many of our fellow Starbucks patrons stopped and told us (her) how cute it was to see us “working” together.  My hair is long enough again that it’s easy to tell we are a mother-daughter pair: our hair is the exact same color.  I loved that we were able to be creative with the mundane and turn it into a moment.  I love that she is able to recognize such events as grown-up, special occasions and acts appropriately.

I love that she seems to love spending time with me as much as I love spending time with her.

And I can’t wait to see what she packs in her bag for our future dates in all the years to come.


  1. lindsay /

    i love this, jen! look forward to dates like that with my little girlie too. 🙂

  2. Marlayne Skeens /

    Jen ~ Monkey see, Monkey do !!!!!! 🙂 So nice ~ I LOVE YOUR EVERYDAY STORIES ~ They are turning into PRICELESS MEMORIES 🙂

  3. Patty Wheeler /


  4. That’s really neat how she adapts and adjusts and fits in just about everywhere-such a wonderful personality characteristic.

  5. Deanna Eppley /

    I loved reading and picturing this scene in my mind! Makes me want to go on a date with my 4 yo son! Thank you for sharing your life!

  6. I love to hear Maren has inherited that “organized” gene. So cute!
    Keep the “moments” coming, we so enjoy them!

  7. I love this post and will be reading it to Grandpa and Helen after dinner. Give my buddy Maren a hug from Aunt Lauri… Hugs, Lauri & Dale

  8. So glad you both took the time to relish the moment in a coffee shop – have not tried that yet with my girls but am looking forward to it now. I am not sure my girls would let me work quietly for more than 2 minutes but perhaps that is a bigger issue. : )

  9. Sounds like perfect work date! I hope to have a few of those with my future children!

  10. Ahhh, my heart is touched! What a delightful outing with your little organized cutie!