Under the low whirr of the coffee grinder, the sides of my dad’s eyes crinkle as he suppresses a laugh. After a couple of quick taps on his iPad, he sits back and looks up to the other oversized armchair across him. My mom’s eyes don’t match his gaze, but a smile pushes her cheeks and glasses up. Her fingers dance a bit on her own iPad, and my dad’s silent sniffle-laugh betrays him as he receives a digital pocket of sunshine. I sneak a nosy peek at my mom’s tablet to see what the fuss was about. They’re just sending each other funny Facebook emoticons. This ping pong of stickers peters out slowly as my mom settles back into her favorite cooking blogs and my dad searches for more funny videos to share.
I know that moment is small and borderline mundane, but this little cafe scene is a stress-relief routine my parents recently adopted. They’ve been working much harder than ever before as a reward for putting my sister and me through college, so seeing their smiles transform their tired eyes is a warm and reassuring sight.
I refuse to settle until I can open my own coffeeshop with two oversized armchairs in a corner reserved just for them.