I think I have seen my children less now that it is summer than when they were in school.
Their school hours have been replaced by sports practice and friends. I am currently living in my car.
Perhaps I should consider having my mail forwarded there. And a mini-bar installed.
Today uncovered several hours of unscheduled time for me. By 10:30 this morning, The Tortoise had already finished swim practice and been dropped off at a friend’s for a sleep-over. Oddly enough, The Hare had nothing else the rest of the afternoon. Thoughts of catching up on laundry, cleaning bathrooms and getting some decent writing time in made me giddy.
“Mom, ” piped The Hare from the backseat, “What are we going to do on our day off together?”
Our day off. I hadn’t really thought about it that way. In fact, ever since summer started, I was starting to resent a little of this so-called “vacation”. It felt like work.
“Lunch, ” I responded, “and then I don’t know.”
“But you always know. You’re the schedule Queen!”
“Well, today’s schedule is just to see what happens.”
The Hare and I had a lunch date over noodles at Noodles & Company, talked about how her summer was going, what skills she hoped to learn in gymnastics and what things she might like to do over the weekend. Then we wandered over to the Teacher Tech Store and bought a gift for a birthday party she is going to tomorrow. (And a few odds and ends snuck their way into our basket for her too. I’m a sucker for motivational posters and activity workbooks.) The sun finally popped out, taunting us to walk down main street, peek in all the windows and eat frozen custard at the local custard shop.
We sat outside, The Hare hiding under the umbrella, me stretched out on two chairs soaking in the almost forgotten sun. It has been very cold and cloudy this week.
“Do you remember the last time we were here, with Luna, mom?”
“Sure – that’s when my friend was visiting, right?”
“You got in so much trouble that day! Remember?”
“Oh yeah!” I giggled.
A young couple with their perky pre-schooler and smoky black Havanese came and shared the courtyard with us. We chatted a few minutes about our dogs and realized we use the same doggy daycare and groomer. Obviously, that made us instant friends. Their daughter was very sweet, asking a billion questions, venturing deep into my personal space.
Luna had sat patiently, never begging. I was down to my last few bites of vanilla frozen custard, nestled in the bottom of my cone. I tipped my hand to Luna, let her have a few licks of the cold sugary delight. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head.
“MOM!” shouted the little girl, “That lady is feeding her dog!”
“Remember what we’ve talked about, “said the mom in barely a whisper, “not everybody has the same rules that we do.”
“But you said people food can make dogs very, very sick.”
“Well I guess that lady doesn’t mind if her dog gets sick.”
They quickly finished up their treats and left.
“I don’t think those people will ever let their dog have a play-date at our house,” I said to The Hare.
“Yeah! They might even tell Ms. Leonie on you!” The Hare snorted.
For the record, before you start sending me all kinds of links about how feeding dogs people food shortens their lives, we do not make it a regular habit. Vanilla ice-cream just happens to be our exception.
After ice-cream, we walked over to our doggy daycare and groomers, hugged on Ms. Leonie and snuggled with her two newest puppies for sale. Eventually we made our way home. The laundry still needed attention, the bathrooms were disgusting, and I still didn’t have a blog post for the day.
“Mom, does our day have to be over now?”
We spent the rest of the afternoon snuggling on my bed, listening to the thunder and rain suddenly rolling over the house, and watched HGTV. I even fell asleep for a while. The Hare lay against my shoulder. Luna lay on my lap.
Today, finally felt like summer.