Well, maybe just chocolate.
I wanted to go to Starbucks for hot chocolate this morning after I dropped Liv off at band practice. It was dark and cold and just felt like a hot chocolate sort of morning. But then I thought about the price tag on a cup of Starbucks hot chocolate and thought - "that's something I should indulge in with someone, as a treat, not take home and drink alone."
So I came home and made hot chocolate from scratch. Because I wanted to. Because I wanted the whole process. Because, I found, I didn't just want hot chocolate. I wanted to make hot chocolate. I wanted to measure ingredients and stir them over low heat. I wanted to smell the chocolate as it heated up. It took a long time. And as I'm enjoying these first tentative sips, I'm appreciating it much more than I would be if I'd just picked it up at the drive-thru.
And here's the kicker: It's really not that good. I made it with skim milk. I used cheap cocoa. It's - mediocre at best. So why am I enjoying it so much?
I think it's one of those 'everything I need to know, I learned in kindergarten' things. Sometimes the process is more important than the product.
A couple years back I visited the Crayola factory with my family. Lea was a pre-schooler and Liv was barely a toddler. At the end of the factory tour, they had different stations set up to play with Crayola products, old and new. At the time, ModelMagic was new. Lea made a few things, smashed them, started over - in a word, she played. I played, too. No, I didn't. I worked. I started making this elaborate little sculpture. I was meticulous. When Liv started to cry and Tom suggested we move on I became very irritated. I'm not DONE! It wasn't that I was having so much fun with the process, I became quite obsessed with the product. Which I wasn't going to keep anyway.
How many times have we seen a child work for a long time (in child years) coloring a picture, only to casually throw it away when they were done? Our adult response to this is that they're not taking pride in their work. We retrieve it and carefully smooth it out and tell them how pretty it is. We ask them to tell us about their picture. The truth (more often than not) is that they're just done coloring. The process is over. The product never really mattered. And we are annoying them.
That's a difficult concept for success-oriented adults to wrap their brains around.
But I can wrap my cold hands around a warm cup of mediocre hot chocolate.
That'll have to be enough for today.