I had aranged for my sitter to come yesterday morning. I had no plans and no agenda whatsoever. Nothing but 3 hours to kill and no errands to run and nothing to do for anyone but myself. After dropping the kids off at school I headed to Starbucks and ordered a tall no-fat caramel machiato. Then the cell phone rang. It was Rebecca asking if I would come to school to see her Star of the Week presentation. Nothing like a little advance warning! Warm cup of coffee in hand I headed over to school. As much as I didn’t want to I had no reason not to and if my presence in that classroom for a mere 15 minutes would mean that much to her, then how could I deny her my attention?
By 10:30 I was out of the school and heading to the parking lot. I had about an hour and 15 minutes before setting the sitter free, getting Alexander dressed because no doubt he’d be a mess, and collecting my kids and their two friends from school to go see a Lego exhibit in Stamford. I really wanted a manicure and pedicure. I really needed a manicure and pedicure. If they could take me immediately I would be able to get home in time. Instead of wandering or driving aimlessly to kill time, as I am prone to do, I decided that I would make this work. I would get my hands and feet pampered. And I did and it felt great!
Early this afternoon after I had taken the boys to soccer and to get some lunch I drove Alexander around to get him to take his nap. I returned home with a floppy blond-haired boy out cold in my arms. I placed him gingerly on my bed, tucked him under his red “Wee Woo” blanket and crept down the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs I stated, very matter of factly, that I was going off to the bookstore to get a new book. I wanted to do this with no time restrictions and no children. I wanted to peruse book after book on the various shelves. I wanted to flip through soft paper pages and admire the pretty covers. I did not want the distractions of little children begging for this, that or the other. I wanted to enjoy a bookstore the way I had before children had taken over my life. Without permission I left the house.
I spent about an hour and a half in the bookstore doing exactly what I had set out to do. I poured over dozens and dozens of books looking for the absolute perfect read. I wanted a book I could lose myself in. I wanted something well writen and yet not heavy. I wanted a book that would allow me to read just 5 pages at a time if that was all I had. I wanted a book that would allow me to pick right back up where I had left off. I scoured and scoured for just that book. Eventually I found it and satisfied I paid for my purchase and headed home. A couple of hours of solitude can do an imense amount for the soul. Trouble was as I neared the house I started to get more and more agitated at the thought of the children runningyellingshouting through the house… at the thought that my husband was most likely stressed out by the noise and the commotion at the house. Luckily, this was not the case and I came home to find calm instead of the anticipated chaos. Rebecca was on my laptop playing Webkinz and the two older boys were playing Star Wars on the wii. Alexander was plunking away happily on his little toy laptop. Upon seeing this I went upstairs and retrieved my blanket from the bed, came back down to finish the book I had been reading, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and settled into the living room couch with an incredible sense of calm. I wanted to devour the remainder of the book and yet I wanted to take my sweet time finishing it. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I closed the book. I was glad to have another one to lose myself into. Sometimes something as simple as a great read is a great mini vacation, temporary escape. Unfortunately my newest selection could not hold a candle to the story that Jeannette Walls had to tell.