Note to readers: My daughter recently asked if she could write one of my articles for me. I told her sure! She could have a go at it. I thought she was kidding. Less than an hour later, she handed me the following article. I’m sure after reading it, you’ll understand why I loved it so much. ~ Renae

I hate coffee. No, I despise it. I have no idea how anyone could possibly find pleasure in putting something so disgustingly bitter into their mouths. Give me a nice, soothing cup of tea, or a steaming mug of hot cocoa any day. But please, don’t make me touch a cup of coffee.

Despite my abhorrence of coffee, I had the grave misfortune of being born to a woman who practically worships the stuff. She goes through a pot a day, sometimes two. She can barely survive an hour without some of the nasty drink. We have an entire shelf in our house dedicated to nothing but her numerous types of coffee. She can pontificate for hours about the virtues of the vile liquid. I mean, for goodness’ sake, her newspaper column is titled Coffee Talk, and she’s known online and in books as the Funny Coffee Girl.

Growing up, I’d watch her drink her coffee and think how cool and sophisticated she looked. Every day she’d pour in her cream and mix in her sugar, and when I begged to try a sip, she’d tell me to wait until I was older. It was such a grown up beverage; I practically counted the days until I was grown-up enough to drink it. When I was 15, she finally let me have a cup of coffee. This made it official.

I had reached womanhood.

I embarked on this new journey with buckets of enthusiasm! I poured my coffee, added a touch of cream and a quick teaspoon of sugar. Slowly, in the most mature fashion I could muster, I lifted the mug to my mouth, anxious for my first taste of adulthood.

Bleck!

It was the foulest thing I’d ever put in my mouth. How could anyone drink this stuff? Was it some sort of punishment for all the sins of my past?

It made me miss childhood.

But after all these years of longing for a cup of morning coffee, just like my mom, I couldn’t let go of my dreams simply because I didn’t like the taste. So the next day, I pulled a mug from the cabinet, poured the tiniest sip of coffee into it, then filled it nearly to the brim with pumpkin flavored creamer.

Then I added eight heaping spoonfuls of sugar.

Gingerly, I took a sip. Still not the Java Fan Club President, but that was slightly better.

Instead of drinking coffee with cream and sugar, I spent most of my high school years drinking cream and sugar with a dash of coffee. It made me feel like an adult. But I eventually realized that no matter what, I would always hate coffee, even with 75% cream and sugar. My morning drink switched to tea or juice . . . though I still asked for a coffee pot last Christmas, because I like having the option to drink coffee anytime I want, just like a real grownup.

Although I didn’t inherit my mother’s taste for coffee, I’m glad she’s passed on other things to me. I’m glad I have her eyes. Her sense of humor. Her passion for teaching. Her weakness for all things chocolate.

Her love for Jesus. Her faith in God.

I’m grateful to have such an amazing, strong, compassionate woman in my life, and I hope to someday be more like her. So, even if we don’t bond over coffee, I’m glad I can have long talks with my best friend while I hold my hot chocolate.

Charis is a senior at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor where she majors in Elementary Education, eats chicken sandwiches and consumes massive quantities of hot chocolate.