On a whim, I loaded my still sick and somewhat cranky toddler into the car this afternoon. There was no definite destination, but I considered swinging by the grocery store. After cringing at the flailing and screaming nineteen month old in the backseat, I decided to head to a nearby park for some playtime instead.
As soon as we got there, the gasping toddler asked for water, which, of course, I didn’t pack.
Not letting myself get discouraged and head home, we walked a few blocks to town and I got Nora a water at the Parisian bakery. Since there was a ten dollar minimum for credit card purchases, and I felt obligated to buy something, I helped myself to an iced tea and some delicious macaroons.
Nora and I enjoyed our snacks and beverages at an outside table, soaking up the sun on a beautiful eighty-degree day. She fussed a little, refusing the water at first, but then sucked it down like she hadn’t had any all day (that’s what seventy-two hours of a 103-degree fever will do to a kid).
With the sugar and caffeine getting to my head, I decided to extend our downtown stroll, taking Nora to the adjacent toy store.
I left the store having spent $18 on a bracelet that I could have made for free, a small dalmatian toy that I could have snagged for half the price at Michaels, and a book I hadn’t even skimmed through to know if it was worth purchasing. Nora was ecstatic, clutching her purchases like it was her birthday.
On our walk back to the car, watching my growing girl enjoy her new treasures, I soaked in the moment. After a long few days, Nora and I had ended this day perfectly. It wasn’t that indulging Nora with toys made it special, but it was the spontaneous way the last few hours of the day had evolved–it felt like we had made lemonade out of lemons.
I think of all the times my mom and I have found ourselves shopping and gabbing, discussing every topic under the sun after a rotten day or week. Today reminded me that my daughter is already growing into a person who I consider to be a friend and companion. Like my mom and me, she and I will share special times together that will remind us that life will be okay, despite its challenges. Our mother-daughter journey is just beginning.
And, for the record, Nora wore the bracelet for the rest of the night. The dog hasn’t left her hands since its purchase. And, the book helped her fall asleep in record time.
I feel truly blessed to celebrate my second mother’s day as a mom tomorrow. It’s the role of a lifetime.