yellow balloons9:33 AM
The other day we drove to Winchester to spend the day with papa bear's parents. It's a good mid point between us and them and it doesn't hurt that Winchester's a town that's real easy on the eyes. They got to play with their granddaughter and we got to take a little break. I used to look forward to manicures and spa days (if I was really lucky) but now I just look forward to be able to drink a cup of coffee, ok half a cup of coffee, without a little someone yanking on my clothes while emitting increasingly louder whiney sounds. It was a good trade. We went to Olive Garden where Birdie made me proud by hoovering up bread sticks and not so proud by making a mess worthy of an entire daycare class, not one child. I was also disappointed when I was informed that they no longer served the spinach and artichoke dip I loved so much... How??? Why??? It was my favorite and I am still heartbroken. First Chili's gets rid of the onion thingy and now this?? Soon I'll be forced to actually eat healthy all the time!! Once our bellies were sufficiently stuffed with salad, breadsticks and some other stuff (I only go for the salad and breadsticks, and once upon a time for that dip) we decided to take a stroll downtown.
Somehow within the time it took us to drive there the temperatures had dropped what felt like ten degrees. Birdie was happy as a clam in her stroller pouch but man were we freezing. The air was still and bitter from the cold and a gray shade seemed to descend over the roofs and crawl down the buildings. But we had already gotten the stroller and Birdie out so we were committed. We made our way down the empty streets and stopped at a corner waiting for the light to change. I was shifting on my feet and eventually started doing jumping jacks because... well, I was cold. And I'm strange I suppose. We heard a couple from across the street laugh.
"Staying warm?" the woman said smiling.
"I'm absolutely freezing!! And the light won't change!" I yelled.
"Well she looks cozy" the lady said pointing to Birdie.
"I wish I was in there" I laughed.
We all laughed. Finally the light changed and as we passed each other I said "stay warm" and the couple wished us a "lovely evening."
I'll never know their names or their story. They'll never be invited to our house and we'll never talk on the phone. I won't add their names to our address book and they won't send us christmas presents. But we laughed together and we wished each other the best and that's more than I can say for most humans I've come across over the years. It's as if we said to each other "I'm a human and you're a human and we should acknowledge each other!" It's such a simple, little thing and yet so hard to do sometimes. Though I will admit having a kid makes it easier. She makes the first move with her little smiles or by climbing on the lap of a girl at the table next to us at dinner (true story, this kid is a little too sociable sometimes). We've heard many grievances from parents that pick up on that special kind of exhaustion that comes from grocery shopping with a grumpy baby. We've been complimented and given advice and listened and been listened too. And it's good, it's so good for the soul. Connecting with others even in the smallest way inevitably leaves me feeling warm, grounded and happy. And I just wish it happened more often.
Around new years I told papa bear that my biggest "resolution" or rather as I call it "thing I'd like to work on in myself" this year was to try and compliment people more. But not just my family and friends, everyone. So many times a complete stranger has made me smile with a "I love your shoes" or "that lipstick is gorgeous" and "your baby is beautiful" that it's really about time I give it back. I want to be the one handing out the "I love you's" and telling people their baby is beautiful. I want to leave even the simplest interaction with another person knowing that I may have made their day a little better.
And on that note, thank you to all of you that write here or connect with me on instagram. I can't thank you enough because so many times you have lifted my spirits, put the biggest smile on my face and gave me the support that I so badly needed. Sometimes your words stay with me all day like a little yellow balloon of happy that follows me around as I go about my day. I hope I've gifted you some of those balloons from time to time as well. I hope to hand out more of them this year!