Today was such an amazing day with my little Bluebird. We needed to get out of the house and do something fun so I packed up a bunch of food and a bottle and we hit the road. Every winter I make a visit to the tiny town where I grew up so I can go to the post office, bakery and the library. There’s a certain order to it now that it’s been a few years. First Starbucks for the drive, then the bakery, and then the library and post office. Sometimes I also wander through the hardware store just to smell it. Most of the trip is about smell, actually. The bakery still smells the same and has the same squeaky screen door. The post office smells the same too, and I love the old fixtures and architecture in the lobby. Brings back a lot of warm fuzzies even though I don’t remember using the post office much when we lived there. The library got a huge remodel and expansion a few years ago and doesn’t look anything like the one we grew up with but they still have some of the same books we checked out, and I can still smell the old library if I picture it. Sitting in a circle for story time on little carpet squares, not usually making it through the whole story before getting anxious about being away from mom. But I could spend the whole day alone looking through the children’s books. At least, that’s how I remember it.
It was the perfect winter day for a drive. The sun was out most of the day, the roads were pretty clear, and I got to drive the truck. We ran a couple errands for my work first and one of them took us through the neighborhood where my grandparents lived. All the memories of those 30 years of life come to the surface when I’m over there. It’s amazing how fresh and vivid some of them are, even the ones that are 25 years old. I sure wish my daughter could have known all my grandparents. She would have made them very happy.
After the work errands were done we headed to pick up my Starbucks drink to go with the custard long john from the bakery. My baby girl started to wake up from a little nap as we got into town. I turned off a bit too early, not used to a traffic light at what used to be a small intersection, but it took us past some good memories. I love wandering that tiny town to see what old things will come to mind when I turn a new corner.
The bakery was quiet and I looked over the Dutch goodies in the cases, even though I always get the same thing. Ana was waving and kicking with excitement or hunger, I’m not sure which. We sat down at one of the four tables and had our treat – pureed vegetables for her and a long john and Starbucks for me. After a while the clerk came over to chat with me and we had such a nice time talking about what we feed our babies (her son is a few months older), whether we want more kids, how we both grew up here and then moved away, and what we like about where we live now. It was such a great way to start our visit.
Eventually I had to pack up and move on to the library. Our first stop was the restroom to get a clean diaper on, and Ana-girl made my day even better by using the potty there like it was no big deal. She’s been using the potty once or twice a day at home but we hadn’t tried to do it anywhere else yet. So proud of her! She amazes me.
Upstairs in the children’s section she scooted around and grabbed a few board books from the low shelves, and then she spent the next 25 minutes rolling her bottle away and chasing it. I was just happy she was getting some energy out. As we were leaving I did show her some pictures from one of my favorite books and she liked it a lot. Good girl.
The drive back home was so sunny, the snow on the roads was melting and steaming. If I hadn’t just been walking outside, it would have been hard to believe it was only 14 degrees. The fields were drifted and the dirt roads were covered with a thick snow pack. I was hungry for lunch and had to use a Panera coupon that expired today, so we headed that way and she took another little nap.
When she woke up we went in and got a seat. She was so excited to sit in that little high chair and watch everything. I love the way she wants to talk with certain people. Sometimes she’s a silent studier but other times she squeals and wiggles to get a stranger’s attention. She usually has a few admirers wherever we go. Her eyes are a big hit and then if she smiles her dimples get a lot of attention. She really is a cute date.
We ended the day with a short trip to see a friend at work, then it was time to go home and spend time with daddy before he went to work. It was a day I’ll remember forever. I loved the way she had fun with me doing the things that mean so much to me. It’s an amazing thing to make new traditions with her. I’m so grateful.