This weekend was not unique, except it was. I think this is how most of life's daily reflections should start. "Today was normal, except it was exceptional." At least that is my goal for life; an exceptionally normal, wonderful life.
So this weekend was a completely normal, usual, nothing of a weekend. The boy child had a soccer game. I had some work to do. The girl child had some homework to catch up on. And the dog was an annoying asshole. You know, the usual. So after arriving early for the soccer game, I told the Girl that we were going to walk to the coffee shop around the corner. "I found this place on google. It says there are snacks and caffeine. We should walk there."
"Why don't we just drive?" replied the 12 year old skinny girl who under-appreciates a good outdoor experience until she's forced in to it.
"Because I was just in Spain for two weeks and homegirls don't drive in Spain; they walk." I call this parenting, y'all. I should probably attend some classes.
We walked along the dangerous, non pedestrian friendly roads to the "coffee shop", which turned out to be a drive through coffee stand at a gas station. I am not in Spain, I am reminded loudly by the cars and the cars and the bigger, more loud cars. We use the toilets, labeled "Restrooms" just to confuse the matter, and purchase a few "fresh" snacks that sit along shelves of car oil and greeting cards.
Finally I visit the "coffee stand" and get a "cappuccino." (Quotes are not just for effect. That is legit use of "air quotes".)
I zip up my purse with one hand and my teeth since I'm holding said coffee in the other. My daughter off-handedly remarks that I must've learned to do this one-handed zipping when I had a baby. "Yes, I suppose so," I reflect, remembering this same child never sleeping and being held hours on end while I did chores with one hand. I launch in to stories about how you do things you never dreamed of when you have kids. "I've pooped with a baby strapped to me. That was your brother, don't worry. I let you scream in your crib or watch Elmo." I reply to her shocked face. We both laugh.
Somehow I launch on to some lecture about having children and how it's important to not do that until you're ready to be a new person. About how being a parent changes you, not in a bad way, but in a way you can't ever undo. That once you've grown an entire human, your life as you know it will never, and should never, be the same, and even if you have undone dreams, they will become less important, probably for ever, compared to the new human that wouldn't let you sleep, or eat, or poop alone.
At this point I remember we're walking along a street of cars and look at my taller-than-me-daughter and exclaim, "SORRY! OH SORRY! I forget you're only twelve."
She smiles, "Yea, Mom, I think you hit shuffle on your mom lecture playlist."
We laugh and I launch in to a rendition of the Flight Of The Conchord's "The distant future" because that lecture can happen later. It leads to me rapping about being a robot and some truth-telling-bots that can't gas the humans and really you had to be there for this to mean anything whatsoever. I could try to capture the essence, but basically, I was rocking the rhymes to the tune of "Robots" and my daughter was bent over her bagel in tears of laughter.
I call this a successful mom lecture shuffle.
What I didn't count on was the 11 min (according to google) walk to, and the 11 min walk back from the "cafe", as being some of the fondest memories I will have of my time with my tween-ager. She's taller than I am. She's more creative than I can ever hope to be. She has a future that I can't predict and neither can she. I'm in awe, and in love, with this person that came from an idea and manifested herself and her own potential. I think maybe this is how you arrive in to parenthood; Without a manual, without a clue, and suddenly you realize one day you're not here to know anything, you're here to learn everything.
I look forward to my Lolo shuffle playlist lectures. She has some good stuff in the queue. I know it.