Not long ago, my family and I enjoyed a perfect Sunday. We feasted on pancakes, covered ourselves in sun block and walked to our town’s annual summer festival. The kids sat in the double stroller without argument while their uncle agreed to push them nearly 2 miles to the park. As Ted and I walked behind the trio, we joked that Uncle Sam was our manny for the day.
When we arrived at the fair, Lauren and Will rode the carousel and kiddie rides, which at $4/amusement are a small fortune, but worth the investment. Our children did not cry, whine or say no to anything we suggested, which added to the day’s fabulousness.
After the rides, the kids tried cotton candy for the first time. When I offered Will a handful of blue and pink fluff, he looked puzzled, as if to say, are you sure I can eat this?
All of the festival action had our troupe famished, so we walked to the First Parish Church, a.k.a. to Ted and I as the church for foodies. We sat in the sun, listened to a mediocre high school cover band and gorged on hot dogs and chocolate cream pie.
Will, Ted and Uncle Sam were exhausted when we returned home, and all promptly napped. I asked Lauren if she wanted to come to my office to pick up Will’s birthday present (I’d purchased a red Schwinn trike at my company’s employee store, and it had been sitting in my cube for at least 4 weeks).
Lauren was excited to come along, and she marveled at the size of the office building. I told her I’d have to beep us in with my ID card, which she insisted she do herself.
We took the elevator up one flight and she b-lined for the Ladies’. “Look it’s green!” she said, beaming. I laughed, amazed by the enthusiasm she displayed for a public bathroom.
“Where’s your desk, Mama?” she asked. I told Lauren we had some more walking to do. She promptly removed her size too big sandals. As we walked together, her shoeless and me in a t-shirt, skirt and flip-flops, I felt like we were getting away with something. It’s a cool feeling to be in your work place after hours, when no one is around. And it’s even cooler when your 3-year old is in tow.
When we reached my desk, she wanted to try Will’s tricycle right away, which was perfect, because I needed to figure out what required repair (all employee store finds are a little damaged, but a steal).
After the test drive, Lauren played at my desk. I decided it was a good time to purge catalogs, paper, files and the temporary art work I’d accumulated over the years. It felt great to toss these things, knowing I’d be free of this corporate existence by month’s end.
Nothing felt better than having Lauren with me at this moment. It was as if the gods were telling me I’d made the right decision. We left the office—her sitting on the trike and giggling, while I pushed her at top speed down the corridor.