"Why?" asked Corb, sitting in the driver's seat.
"Let me get this straight," he said, amused. "You mean to tell me you bought Theo some K-Cups of tea just now. Just so he could have a cup of tea from a K-Cup instead of one from the box of tea bags you bought for $1.99 that are sitting in the pantry? How does that make any sense at all?"
"Well, it...it makes perfect sense," I sputtered, Oh how I hate it when Corb gets on one of his rants...
"Oh really? You think it makes perfect sense to buy 12 K-Cups for seven dollars when you already have 100 for $1.99 in the pantry, and the taste is exactly the same? Not to mention what a waste K-Cups are for the environment. Not to mention you are always telling me we need to cut down on buying things we don't need. And yet, that makes perfect sense? Huh?"
"Besides, dad, I hate trying new things," called out Theo from the back of the car.
Abandoned by my son. The nerve! This was clearly not an argument I was going to win.
But you know what? It's not an argument I need to win. In my defense, the more I think about this, I think that the purchase of the K-Cups signifies a little bit more for me than just wasted foolish money. It's sentimental money, and there's a world of difference in that.
Let me explain. Lately, before he's been going to bed at night, Theo has gotten into the habit of asking me to make him a cup of tea. Black tea, with sugar and milk. Piping hot, just the way my grandmother used to make it for me every night before I went to bed.
My grandmother...well, Nana...used to live in an in-law apartment in my parents' home. She lived there from the time I was five until I grew up. And one of the things I recall vividly about having her downstairs was the comfort of knowing I'd be able to spend some time with her each night, watching TV as she crocheted and drinking a nice cup of tea with toast.
Oh the chemicals that were being pumped into my young body! All that sugar and starch and caffeine. How horrible! She might just as well have been teaching me to smoke. And yet, I wouldn't have traded those moments with her for anything in the world.
And now Theo has added this on to our nightly ritual. See, what we've done for years is to watch an episode of the old classic Doctor Who series before he goes upstairs to bed at night. Just one, no more, no less. Theo never goes overboard. In about eight years, we've seen the first four doctors and are now almost through with Peter Davidson, which means we are almost ready to endure the horrible Colin Baker years. Hopefully we will be able to get through that before Theo heads off to college this September.
Oh yeah, there's that. College.
Theo was accepted to college last week, to the school he wanted to attend. In his typical low key way, he's not making a big deal out of it. But I'm awfully pleased for him.
But even though he hasn't said much about it...about the prospect...about the changes (and by the way, this will now make me an empy nester..how weird is that?) there's one thing that has changed: Theo started asking me for tea each night. Just the way he did when he was a little kid. Just the way I did when I was a little kid. It's a family tradition, I guess.
No one can tell me otherwise. This kid is looking for comfort food.
So, if I want to buy a few K-Cups of Black tea? Hell, if I want to buy dozens of boxes of Black tea? And if Corb wants to make fun of me for doing so?
That's okay by me. Because for as long as I live, that kid will have a comfortable chair here and a warm cup of tea waiting whenever he wants.
And nothing will ever change that.