And then there is my husband.
|Photo from coffeemaking.net|
The first time I visited Brazil I was not shocked by the amount of coffee they drank, really. It is a cultural difference I expected. What I did find shocking was heading outside and seeing several moms come out with trays of little coffee cups, serving the neighborhood children what appeared to be espresso shots at two in the afternoon. The kids would stop from their running and playing, run over, toss back the black stuff, and head back out ready to paint the town red, again. I have heard that some mothers feed it to their babies in bottles, but I have yet to see whether that is true or not. The point is, Paulo is a Brazilian man, which means he was once a Brazilian boy, coffee and all. It runs through his veins like pride on the fourth of July runs through ours, and that is all there is to say about that.
(And coming in at over six feet, I cannot say that it stunted his growth...)
|Photo taken from an article at culturamix.com discussing (in Portuguese) |
the pros and cons of giving children coffee to drink.
|Photo from tradefina.com|
So although I am not a coffee drinker, I knew my husband always would be, and that was fine by me. As long as our children were not given cups of coffee when they visit Grandma's house that is! But in all seriousness, I was not surprised when we received three coffee makers as wedding gifts (although we registered for none). They would be used, either by us or family, and that was good. Really, the idea of a Brazilian giving up coffee is like asking a born-and-bred American to give up peanut butter: sure, it could happen, but chances are it most likely wouldn't.
Well, wonder of all wonders: Paulo has been coffee free for three weeks! Who would have guessed? His mom (an avid coffee drinker, even by Brazilian standards) decided to give it up for her health, his dad didn't really care for it that much anyway, so he joined her, and his sister thought something along the lines of, "Why not?" When Paulo found out that everyone else had given coffee the boot he saw it as some sort of challenge. If they could do it, he could do it, right? And so he quit. Cold turkey. One day he was drinking coffee and the next he had a mug of OJ in front of him. Last week I tucked the coffee maker away in the cupboard, never to be seen again. (Well, unless we have company, I suppose.) With a life's worth of coffee flowing through his veins we expected there to be headaches and other caffeine withdrawal issues, but really, he has been fine. Just sleepy. Before he would complain that people in America go to sleep too early ("It is only 10p -- time to get ready to go out!"), but now he wants to go to bed way too early, like nine o'clock. I have to convince him that really, it is not time yet, and he looks at me with a face that reads, "How did you get so much energy?" From a lifetime of energizing myself instead of having caffeine do it, Baby! Just wait, it will happen to you, too.
|Photo from gimmecoffe.com, picture taken at a coffee farm in Brazil|