I went to the mall with my mother on Saturday. That might sound banal, but the most important detail is that I went without any children.
I was able to touch the clothing. To wander around stores. To not have an agenda. To not stop and shove a granola bar in anyone's mouth to keep anyone quiet. I tried clothes on—for myself. I got the most gorgeous dress at Anthropologie (for the first time in my lifetime, everything in the store was 20% off):
I have no idea where or when I'm going to wear it, but it is soft, swishy and flattering. If I have to invent an occasion I will.
There's more: My mother and I went to a restaurant, where I sat down and chewed my food. I'd forgotten how wonderful it is to chew and swallow without jumping up to get water or seconds for someone or to answer questions with a mouth half-full of food. It was glorious.
When I got home, it was pouring. The kids were standing by the door.
"Come on! Come on!" they yelled. "We've been waiting for you!"
There, in the backyard, was our camping tent, set up just for me for Mother's Day. They'd decorated the outside of the tent with pink pinwheels.
"We couldn't make you a teepee because it was raining," Junior said. "So we made you this."
I crawled into the tent to find this, drawn on the back of a pizza box (I especially like the phallic tree hovering over my drawn tent—a subtle reminded that I am perpetually surrounded by male parts):
The cooler next to the air mattress was stocked with vodka and cups. I hugged them—the boys I mean. Thanked them. I curled up with the three boys and we listened to the rain. It was lovely. I poured myself a cocktail and snuggled deeper under the blankets. Something was missing though. I looked around. What was it?
"Junior? Where's your father?"
"He, uh, hurt his back putting the tent up. He's on the couch with the heating pad."
Of course he was. Although mentally Chuck was prepared to give me a weekend of relaxation, his passive aggressive body had other intentions. If you don't believe me, this post from 2008 entitled, "I've had it with his damn organs!" proves my point nicely.
I had a tent—and I did sit in it. We might even sleep in it this weekend. I'm not giving up on my teepee either. Our backyard could soon be an oasis of repose and seclusion, decorated with twinkling lights, flowers, floral sheets, vodka bottles and decorated pizza boxes.
The perfect locale for a pretty yellow dress.
About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.