Sometimes I am terrified at the ways I am turning into my mother. I love and miss my mom (she died in 2002) but she had her share of idiosyncrasies. She was never really comfortable with electricity, for example, and unplugged nearly every appliance when not in use. Forget about ever having an aquarium with a pump that ran continuously! Now she would be applauded for her green ways but mostly she was just afraid of fires. Thanks to my mom I not only can't leave the house with the dryer running - probably a good practice, but I also have to be sure it's wide open so it can't start up spontaneously.
But we were always pretty close. I am the youngest of 3 children, all spaced 5 years apart. So after everyone else was up and out, Mom and I had a lot of time and adventures together.
Now when I say adventures, I don't mean we went on hiking trips or out sailing or things like that. I mean going on thrift store shopping expeditions, eating lunch in dumpy little burger joints, checking out antique auction houses. We had a lot of fun.
I was thinking of those days while out and about today with my own daughter. We were tasked today with getting new tires - previously ordered at Costco - put on. (I think that's a male task but our males are camping this weekend. Woe is us.) We'd been warned that today would be a super-busy day and we should anticipate a long wait, so we planned our strategy out yesterday. We'd take a book, some handwork (crochet for her, knitting for me), arrive 30 minutes before store opening to be first in line, and then go to a strip mall across the street to get breakfast at Panera Bread and browse the offerings at HomeGoods.
But late last night we found out that today is soccer team photo day! No game, just photos. That threw a little curve into our plans, as our photo time was just when we wanted to be arriving at Costco. So...
She suited up and added a change of clothes to her bag. On a whim I tossed my camera in mine. Good thing, too, because I discovered that we got a free team photo, and were welcome to snap our own pictures as well. We figured the seminarian can take a single photo of our soccer player standing with one foot on the ball as well as anyone, so we skipped the photo package and saved $30+! My mother would be proud.
After the shoot we ran to the bathroom so she could change clothes. Back to the car, up to Costco. Number 5 in line! We waited half an hour just to turn in our key and learn that our tires would be on in 2 hours.
Now the fun could begin.
We walked (an adventure in itself in a pedestrian-unfriendly area) to Panera Bread and I whipped out a gift card I'd obtained with credit card points. Free breakfast! We settled into a booth and relaxed. My girl commented on the nice, calm music which led to a discussion of how music affects customers in businesses. Why is the music in there so nice and calming, while in Old Navy it's loud and crazy? Hmmm...
The place was nearly empty so after we ate we pulled out our handwork and continued to sip our drinks and chat. It was a really nice time. But soon enough we headed to HomeGoods. We just wandered around slowly, talking all the while. We had all the time in the world.
And that was the great thing about it. At home there is always something to do: something to clean, or fold, or put away, some paperwork to deal with. Today we were trapped in leisure time together. We walked and talked about all sorts of things. The sorts of things there just isn't time for at home.
After we got the car back we continued with our adventures. We stopped in to an Indian market for some spices and dals and explored the offerings there. My mother would have loved the place.
Now we're home and we're back to our normal routine. She has to clean her room; I have laundry to deal with. But we are refreshed from our time together. And I'm happy to be turning into my mother.