Coffee shops: The new hangout
March 6, 2017
by Jenni Sebora

Here I am sitting at a local coffee shop with my two daughters. It is absolutely the craze – coffee shops. However, it is absolutely about more than just the caffeinated drink.

These institutions are the places where friends meet up to catch up on whatever needs catching up on. They are places to chill and just hang after a day of school or work. They are places to commiserate over a not–so–great day to end it on a better note. They are places to do homework, and type Kids’ Connection articles.

What can I say? I am a coffee shoppe junkie – in a good way. Just last week, I met an old high school friend who I have not seen for a long while at a quaint coffee shop. Before we knew it, we had finished a couple cups of coffee, a bowl of wonderful pesto, sausage and spinach soup, and caught up on years of each other’s lives.

We were best of friends in high school, and it still feels that way one of those people who knows you already and you can sit back and enjoy each other’s company. Our friendship feels like a warm fuzzy blanket. How awesome is that?! Those special people that you can just pick up where you left off, even if it’s years.

In the same week, I was at a meeting and a former colleague whom I have not seen for about 18 years approached me. We both embraced and just could not believe we were in the same room together! We had lost touch. We were former co–teachers who just clicked together. We shared the same teaching values system for our students, but we also complimented each other so well. When she left and moved to another state because of her spouse’s job transfer, I was a tad heartbroken.

Since then, we have both moved on and in different positions, but she is now back in Minnesota, and we plan on getting together. At our meeting, we were able to share our contact information and have made a vow to get together. She is another person that we can start where we left off. It is great to have friends like that.

In my now wiser years, I have come to realize how important it is to have some really close friends who feel like that warm fuzzy blanket, even if you cannot get together often because life gets in the way. A person or two who just knows you, accepts you, and really cares about you (aside from your spouse) – someone who you can just share a cup of coffee with, and that is enough sometimes.

I often share this with my own children who are all really growing up, of course – an adult son who is no longer a teen and is really off on his own; a 17-year-old daughter who will soon be out on her own, as well, onto the next stage of life; and then our youngest, who is now an official teenager. I tell them how important it is to have a couple of friends who you really can trust and who care for you as you care for them.

All three of my children are very social human beings. They all desire to be around people and do things with others, and I would consider all three to be very good “friendship” people. They are loyal, lovable, caring, and sincere people – which are all great qualities for being a friend. I tell them it takes a friend to make a friend, but don’t ever stop being yourself to make a friend.

So it is that often, I take my two daughters and some of their friends to a coffee shoppe to let them chill with each other in a positive welcome environment where they can just be themselves with each other. My girls look forward to our weekly coffee shop dates together. Sometimes we do our homework (including me) and don’t even talk much, but just enjoy the company of each other.

So, a coffee shop or small town cafe are not just coffee shop or cafes, but a place to call “home” for a while, free from some stress, and just to be mindful of the moment and small pleasures.


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