04/11/2014 05:25 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

To the Barista Who Took My Order Today

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To the Barista Who Took My Order Today:

I don't know you very well, but I know I wasn't very talkative today. You see, I'm a dad and I just stayed up all night with my newborn. I also have two other kids and I just dropped one off at school. All this to say that I wish I could have returned your witty banter with some of my own. However, all I could muster were three words -- Medium Nonfat Cappuccino.

I was also fresh off paternity leave and on my way to the first of two staff meetings this morning. I really needed my coffee. I mean badly. Seriously, I don't know if I have ever needed it more than this morning. I know that you've probably been up since before the sun rose over Mission Peak. Is that where it rises? I have no idea, but you probably do because of your countless mornings seeing it while going to work. My last two weeks have all blurred together and I'm just trying to make it through today. Regardless, just like me, you were probably trying to blink away the sleep and so we have something in common.

I just want to say I appreciate you trying to get me to talk, being understanding when I didn't have the words, and trying to brighten my morning anyway. I know you don't always get the thanks you deserve. People are talking on their phones, or daydreaming about their responsibilities for the day, and generally being, well, the type of customer you don't want to deal with. Except for that one guy who is always way too chipper in the mornings. You know the one.

You should know that I wasn't trying to be cranky or impatient -- I was just exhausted from my 2-week-old's party all last night. The party that lasted from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. The one only he and I were invited to. The party where he only wanted to be held, or cuddled, or set down, or... well, you get the idea. I was just needing the caffeinated goodness you always provide me in my most desperate of times -- like this morning. Hopefully you could see that hollow, desperate look in my eyes. Hopefully you could tell that you were my hope to make it through this morning.

I needed you and you came through, like you always do. I would have paid 20 times the amount that you charged me this morning. Thanks for not making me pay that, by the way. Thanks for understanding that being a parent sometimes leaves me like this. Thanks for treating me like I was the happiest, friendliest and most chipper customer you waited on this morning. To you I raise my recyclable paper coffee cup and hope that my being able to mutter, "Have a good day," was enough. For that one shining moment this morning, you were my hero.

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