The first day of Spring. A big storm — our first in two years! — looms, but all day, only rain, a fine sleet, or a few snow flurries.
Just for fun, a few of the day’s hits:
First, four hours at Panera, writing. A piece of baguette (a little larger than normal, thank you, Panera workerman) and two coffees. Back home, a quick early lunch (cabbage — the children gag it down) and then the three younger kids (my older son is at classes) and I head to town on a quest: books and ice cream.
In the car, my older daughter plugs her phone into the car stereo. Sixteen Going On Seventeen blares and the kids sing along.
Totally unprepared are you
To face a world of men
Timid and shy and scared are you
Of things beyond your ken —
Suddenly I bellow: BULL. SHIT.
The kids scream — Mom! — and shriek with laughter.
“You can sing the song as long as you understand it’s a complete lie,” I say. “Have I made my point?”
Yes, they giggle, and I have a hunch that from now on when they hear that song, they will also hear my voice in the back of their heads calling bullshit.
It’s a good feeling.
At Dairy Queen, the kids get their free first-day-of-spring cones.
At the library, each of us collects an armful of books. I pick out some read alouds, a few books I think the younger two might enjoy, some cooking material, a book on writing, and every single book on Puerto Rico I can find — so many that when I try to carry them, a bunch of them crash to the floor, oops.
We stop at Kline’s for a second round of cones: today only 75 cents in honor of their 75th anniversary, mint cookies and cream.
On a whim, I pull into Gift and Thrift — Summer clothes, I say, Puerto Rico’s going to be hot — and within minutes we’ve appropriated three of the four dressing rooms, swapping clothes and modeling for each other, affirming and critiquing, no minced words.
I find two dresses and a pair of sandals. My son finds five pairs of shorts and a scooter (only four dollars, so fine). Eventually the situation devolves into vintage gowns and halter tops, so we leave.
We stop into Food Lion for a red onion, cilantro, and milk, and my son spends the rest of his gift card money (y pico) on two chocolate bars, and, on the drive home — along the side of the road, plow trucks idle hopefully — he feeds us pieces.
At home, the junky weather has lifted so I go on a run. Halfway, I spy an approaching bicyclist. Right before I get to him, he pulls over to the ditch. Idiot, I think. You have plenty of space to get around me, and then I realize it’s my husband, how sweet!
Back at the house, the boys are working on a welding project…
Charlotte is feasting on a bunny, and Alice is sulking (maybe because Charlotte won’t share)..
and the girls are making a peanut butter cream pie…
Supper is chili cheese dogs, peas, chips. We linger at the table while I read aloud from one of the Puerto Rican travel books I checked out.
Mom comes over to grind wheat and then scandalizes my husband by cleaning off the table with the vacuum.
She doesn’t wash it afterward, either.
All evening, we read (though the youngest is sad because he wants to play games and no one will join him).
I read to the younger two from A Day No Pigs Would Die, and then the kids head to their rooms to continue reading and I make hot chocolate with whipped cream and flip through a couple Cook’s Illustrated magazines (making exciting plans for the next day’s cooking ventures) and then start Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life. It’s so good! I laugh out loud, interrupting my husband’s reading every two minutes with excerpts.