Triangulation and Children

Triangulation Competition
Foxy Coffee Co.
9 May 2017

Following local coffee shops on Instagram provides particular benefits, including finding out about low-key triangulation competitions going on. When I saw that Foxy Coffee Co. was putting on a triangulation at their shop on SE Belmont on a Tuesday evening that I was available, I jumped at the opportunity to participate. I had never participated in a triangulation before, but I had heard about them, and I thought it would be a lot of fun.

For those who have not heard of a triangulation before, a bit of explanation is warranted. Triangulation is a way to taste different coffees. As the name implies, it involves sets of three coffees. Of the three coffees, two are the same and one is different. The goal in a triangulation is to taste the three coffees and pick the odd one out. Depending on one’s level of experience, and the coffees used, this can be extremely difficult. It could be as different as a lightly roasted, fruity coffee from Ethiopia and a dark roast from Starbucks, or as similar as two similarly roasted and processed coffees from different farms in the same country. This triangulation was somewhere in between, although I never did ask about the particular coffees used, so I can’t say with certainty. It consisted of six sets of three coffees and about ten people participated. I had no idea what to expect as far as difficulty. I had never tested my palate in that way. While I do try to be mindful of what I’m tasting when drinking coffee in everyday life, I couldn’t say how good a job I would do at it.

I went to the triangulation with Remington, Everly, and Jude. I love going to coffee events with my children. There is definitely more involved in taking them to events: my attention is somewhat diverted from whatever is going on, as they do need to be conversed with and cared for. On the other hand, the opportunity to share with them things that I love is priceless, and they do enjoy their time more often than not. To me, bringing my children in to the things I am passionate about is valuable for a number of reasons. A big one is that it shows them a side of me beyond simply “mom” and gives them an example of what pursuing their own interests can look like. I don’t want my life to revolve around my children any more than I want my life to revolve around my marriage or work. Instead, I want to intentionally integrate my children into my everyday life, along with marriage and work, creating an integrated whole of my life, rather than fragmented modes of “mom,” “wife,” “work,” “self-care,” “spirituality,” and so on.

I am a human being, I am a woman, I am a mom and a wife and a Christian and a writer and a homemaker and a barista, and I don’t have time to partition my life out into a hundred different boxes. I clean the house with my children, I pray and recite scripture while I’m cooking dinner, I take care of myself by pulling shots and pouring lattes, I hang out with my husband at coffee shops and triangulations. Sure, there are times when I focus on one aspect of myself in particular, but I don’t try to “balance” the various aspects of my life. I find ways to bring all of myself, or as much of myself as possible, into every situation.

So, I bring my children to triangulations to show them what it looks like to pursue one’s interests while living an integrated life. Yes, there were a couple times that Remington or I had to take Everly outside for a few minutes to help her calm down, and I probably should have brought more snacks for her. Yes, it was a little challenging to juggle children, especially while concentrating and tasting coffees. Yes, we had to leave directly after the event instead of hanging out afterwards. And yes, little Jude had a few moments of frustration that he couldn’t crawl everywhere and chew on everything. Nevertheless, I would do it again happily. I got to have a blast participating in a triangulation with Remington, Everly was exposed to people that she wouldn’t have met otherwise and saw her parents having fun doing something they enjoyed, Jude really just wants to be with his mom all the time, so he appreciated not having a babysitter. And honestly, it’s important to me to expose other people to the idea that life isn’t over after having children, and you don’t need to either stop doing things for fun or have the extra money to pay for a babysitter every time you want to do something you enjoy. Children really are a blessing and a joy and bring such awareness and growth in life. My children expand my ideas about what is possible and what is important, and I have the express privilege of exposing them to things I find fascinating and fun. Why wouldn’t I involve them?

Photo credit: Angel (@smalltimeroasters)
I tasted six sets of three coffees with little Everly on my back. I tried a new way of enjoying and appreciating coffee, and stretched my coffee tasting abilities. I took almost seven minutes to try the coffees (seven minutes was the cutoff time), and when the results came in, I had gotten four of six correct and won second place! It was really exciting and encouraging for me. It is good to know that all my work intentionally tasting coffees is actually creating results and allowing me to distinguish differences in coffees. Remington got three out of six correct and took a minute or two less time than I did. Oddly, he got correct the coffees that I got wrong, and I got correct the coffees he got wrong. Apparently we make a good pair. I look forward to participating in another triangulation someday soon. And if they’re interested, someday I’ll be able to share the entire experience with my children and we’ll all be tasting coffees together. I look forward to that, but in the mean time, I will keep exposing them to things I’m interested in and keep living an integrated life with coffee and children and everything else.

Have you participated in a triangulation? What do you think about exposing children to your interests? Share your thoughts and experiences!

Photo credit: Elizabeth Chai (@chaiamericano)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *