I almost have to stop myself from skipping as I close my polka dot sweater to the cool breeze, clutch my starbucks pumpkin spice latte (Yes.. I'm am one of them), and open the jeep door for the big dirty Golden Retriever to hop in the back. I love this time of year. A few leaves fall like colorful snowflakes against the windshield and I smile.. it makes me want to put my hands deep into a jar of candy corns. My all time favorite song ( Snow Patrol ~ Chasing Cars) is playing on the radio and I glance to the backseat where the dog drool has collected on the glass from sharky's big head hanging out of the half opened window.. I don't care, I just keep singing loud and I decide that Sharky likes this song too.
As we drive along the scenic road to Sally's school , I see so many stately houses dressed up for fall. Cornstalks and pumpkins sitting orderly on huge cobblestone steps. I look at them with envy. Who lives there? Wouldn't it be cool if THEY had a blog so that I could see the inside. I imagine, if I approached the door, that I would be welcomed by the smell of apple pie and roast beef that has been cooking all day.
I drive on, pressing my thumb against the steering wheel to skip over songs on my ipod. I pass over the songs that are emotional, you know.. the ones that you love to hear but remind you of someone or some other time in your life. I stop at "Stacy's mom"... why, because I'm 42 years old and I like to pretend that I am that hot mom driving a Cadillac.. just like that chic in the commercial. And then of course, I glance in the mirror and see the gray roots flowing out of my dye job. Shit.
I think about the text that received from Paul earlier, while I was standing in line waiting for my starbucks. That is now getting cold. Love you honey. He sends me random texts throughout the day while he is working. Most of the time he makes me laugh with things like , I can't wait to get the eff out of this place Or so and so is a @#@$ @$%@$% @#$%$%! He works on the waterfront.. eloquent language is not his strong points. Love you honey. It makes me smile when he sends them. He loves me... my gray roots, my now - pumpkin spice latte stained jeans, and all of my other flaws. I need to text him back. If we have learned anything this past year, it's to let each other know how much we mean to each other. How much our lives mean and how much we appreciate what the other does.
I pull up in front of Sally's school. Now, I'm feeling sappy, so I skip songs until I reach Darius Rucker's "This". I'm not a huge country music fan.. but darn that's a good song! High school kids crowd around the back window. Can we pet your dog? By now, some of them even know Sharky's name. There are at least 10 sets of hands reaching inside of the window, rubbing over Sharkys head as I text Paul a quick XO. I see Sally walking across the courtyard. She's smiling and wearing the red hoodie that still has the "old" school name on it. This year, her Lutheran school changed it's name to a Prep school and jacked the tuition cost up. My first thought, 11th grade = just 20 more payments to go! and my second thought, I need to get her a new hoodie. I watch her as she approaches the car, She's so beautiful. Of course, yes.. I'm their mom and all mom's think that their children are beautiful, but mine really are. Sally hugs her dog, who's happily wagging tail is thumping across the back of my seat. As she throws her stuff carelessly into the car... book bags, volleyball, guitar... I can't get over how much she reminds me of my mom and at that moment I am wishing that my mom could see her.
The drive home is filled with stories about our day. I tell Sally what I've been up to and she fills me in on tests, volleyball practice and school drama. Who's dating who. which teacher is a dork. Who's cute. Who's thirsty. You know, normal teenage stuff ~ by the way, for those of you without a 15 year old, Thirsty no longer means thirsting for a drink. Thirsty is a person who will date a-n-y-b-o-d-y. I learned that one last year.
We pull into the drive and I help Sally with her bags as she lets sharky out. He runs past us frockicing in the grass for a few seconds before he follows us inside of the gate. I glance at my front steps.. no pumpkins, cornstalks or mums, I really want to dress the house up but I don't have the extra money. Maybe next week. Once inside of the kitchen, it's mad chaos. Sally drops her things in the middle of the floor and 3 dogs are jumping all over each other and I am running to the oven. My dinner smells good. Chicken breast, stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach, topped with chicken gravy. Paul and I love anything with spinach. I hear Sally and Michelle upstairs laughing, no doubt Sally is telling her big sister all of the juicy tid-bits that she doesn't tell her mom. I love how they love each other.
In an hour, dinner will be ready and Paul will be home. I fix myself a coke zero, sit outside on the deck, put my feet up on the rails and text Paul back. Love you too. C u soon.
Life is good!