Now that Miss Silvia's gone to VT for the upcoming ski season, I'm back to my regular morning latte stop at Starbuck's. It's nice to be recognized again, and sometimes even have my usual (tall, non-fat) ready and waiting for me.
With the beginning of school this past week, another set of regulars reappeared - the blonde Mom and her elementary school-age twin boys in Red Sox jackets. Now that the boys are older, last year's friendly morning breakfast together, has been replaced with a new routine. Each is seated at their own table, Mom with coffee and the newspaper, boys separately with hot chocolate, pencils and whatever homework assignment has been left undone. These kids might be the youngest ever student regulars, developing that crucial coffeehouse ability to focus regardless of surroundings. But that's the paradox. Where families and coffeehouses used to be about people getting together, here it's turned into the opposite.