An unexpected coffee with my daughter

September 24th, 2013, 7pm

It was 16°C with clouds and visibility OK. The breeze was gentle.

It’s not that I didn’t always have a strong connection with my eldest daughter. It’s just that recently, as she’s running headlong into her fifth year of life, we’ve started to connect in ways I didn’t expect. For example, this weekend we spent most of early Sunday morning building Lego models together. How did that happen? How did she suddenly get into stuff I remember liking as a child?

I know everyone always talks about how quickly kids grow up. I don’t agree with that at all. Growing up takes a long time. But I do find these sudden jumps in growth quite surprising sometimes. I feel like I should be better prepared for each jump so I can catch her if she stumbles. I guess that feeling will never go away. Especially when she starts dating. Man. That’s going to be rough.

Anyway. I’m really into coffee. And this morning my wife brought the girls to our office for a visit. I made my daughter a Babycino (frothed milk + hot chocolate sprinkles), and I made myself a flat white (both pictured above). While I was making the drinks my daughter sat at the table, and asked me questions about what I’m doing and how the espresso machine works. I talked to her about coffee extraction and crema and milk steaming, thinking that would bore her to tears. But she was really into it. So I kept going and talked to her about craft and why it’s cool to take your time to learn how to do things well and how good it makes you feel when you really master something.

They left hours ago, but I’m still thinking about the brief time I had with my daughter this morning. I can’t help but feel like it was an important moment, and that I should create more of those types of moments with her. And not just with her, but with friends and colleagues too. A discussion about craft — especially if it happens around that craft — usually leads into a discussion about passion, and that easily spirals out of control to anything from a new appreciation of life to brilliant product ideas.

A big part of the joy of learning and practising a craft is the gathering of people around its edges, and the ideas that are sparked and shared as a result. We should actively create and seek out those moments of collaborative creative thinking.

actual, Sanna, Sara, Marco and 26 others said thanks.

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Rian van der Merwe

Family, design, coffee, and Oxford commas. On Twitter:

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