We had planned to drive to Raleigh today with C to visit the state farmer’s market, but when the temperature plunged and took her temperament down with it, I made the executive mom decision to put off our trip for tomorrow. I was bummed as I stood in the shower and realized that no family fun would be had today, and I braced myself to be let down once again when I announced to B that I would be taking the day off and going out on my own. But to my surprise, he understood my need to go out solo and just double-checked that we had enough peanut butter to sustain the two of them. Peanut butter secured, I kissed them both on the head, put on my cute new shoes my mom bought me when she was in town, and I was off.
First stop: the grocery store. A necessary place I had to go since we have corn tortillas, peanut butter, frozen cod, and an odd potato and not much else. I glazed over and did the shopping in record time since I had to meet up with myself for a date.
Second stop: a cafe I had never been to all by myself. I nestled in with a National Geographic and looked at old pictures of an ancient sequoia as I lingered over my Croque Madame. No diaper bag in tow. No iPad. Just a phone that remained silent. Even if it had rung, I would have had to really think over answering it since it’s rude to talk on your phone when you’re out with someone who needs your attention.
I still had thirty minutes to kill until the big event of my day, so I walked over to the local crunch buffet: the cloth diaper store. Amazing how much I could accomplish there without my wee one. Brand new cover and prefolds were purchased and I didn’t have to say “stop” to a tiny person once. Divinity. I even learned how to strip the diapers I already had from none other than a grownup. A face-to-face encounter. Did I mention how wonderful conversation is?
I walked across the street to an antique store I had been in before C was born. There must be a one-bump quota that must be met at this place at all time because the lady running the place was about to pop. A boy was on his way. I wished her well, alluded to my own little friend, bought some coasters, then called my two pals at home. All was well and the peanut butter was reportedly delicious.
It was finally time to do what I had aimed to do all day: go to the pottery studio and paint Wee Cee a present for her first birthday. The studio smelled like my teenage life: patchouli mixed with incense spiked with the dust of unfinished pottery. I selected a little owl plate and carefully painted it in for my girl. One table over from me sat sixteen-year-old twins with their mom, painting pieces to commemorate their birthday. Their presence was serendipitous. Polite, pensive, kind, grateful. The gentleness they infused into C’s owl won’t burn away when the plate gets fired.
I’m home now. C is napping, B is sitting next to me, and I’m writing a blog on Saturday afternoon, just trying to pin this day down.
Here’s to cold rainy days that have so much more in store than the skies portend. Here’s to dates with ourselves and mornings taken to remember how delightful being alone is. And here’s to coming home to people who love you and find joy in your joy.