“Excuse me, can I have a croissant please?”
I looked down at the toddler standing next to me, who had just requested his breakfast order from the barista in perfect English. He couldn’t have been more than two feet tall. I stared at the boy, then stared at the barista, who said, “I know. That kid knows what’s up.”
The other barista looked at the boy’s dad, “I’m pretty sure I didn’t know what a croissant was until I was 14 working at Burger King and they quizzed me on the breakfast menu.”
When I lived in Pittsburgh for two years, I worked from home. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. To keep myself motivated (and to make sure I didn’t become distracted by dishes and laundry) I worked at the same coffee shop every morning. I was usually one of the first three people through the door.
The same group of people were always there: the salesman who brought his own extension cord (it was so clutch getting a seat next to him), the seventy-year-old man who told me I had the best legs in Pittsburgh, and the dad with the toddler who knew how to pronounce croissant correctly.
I said hi to these people every morning—could not tell you a single one of their names.
With the exception of that two-year-old (who basically owned the heart of everyone in that coffee shop), my favorite people were this husband, wife, and son trio who arrived each morning by 7AM. The wife and son always walked in first, and by the time they ordered you’d see a black Mercedes pull up. The dad got out, always in a suit and tie, shoes always polished, always greeting everyone as he walked in.
The dad would read the newspaper out loud, or help his son read it himself. He would ask his son exactly what he was going to do that day, what friends he was going to see, and if he had any last-minute homework questions. Then the dad would drive off and the mom and son walked (I’m assuming) to school.
It basically made my day every time.
One day the family sat down at the table next to me and I said, “You three are my favorite! You’re here every single day. I think the rest of the world would be so much happier if they had your routine!”
I’m not sure how this didn’t weird them out, but the dad replied, “And you know what? It’s been happening each day since birth.”
I looked at the son, “How old are you?”
I’m sure this was a family where the dad worked really long hours. He probably didn’t always make it home for dinner because he was stuck at the office. So instead of missing out on family time or helping his son with his homework, he made up for it the next morning. It was devoted time they knew would go uninterrupted—and they had kept the routine for six years running.
When everyone else is hitting the snooze button, or running to get a workout in before 9AM, this family has already completed the most important part of their day.
Think about that the next time you say you don’t have enough time.