I picked you up a few hours early, unplanned.
You asked a million questions about why I was picking you up late ... you get early & late confused. I love it because it reinforces you're an actual child, not a blossoming girl-person who can do math and calls me Mother.
"I don't know, babe. I just wanted to surprise you," I said as we headed for Starbucks' drive-through. "Can't you just be excited to have no plan right now?" I rolled my eyes as I said that. I'm the Queen of Plan and spontaneity often makes my skin jump right off my bones. There I go again, saying things to you that are meant for me.
I ordered my usual obnoxiously embarrassing coffee order, and urged you to get a Strawberries & Creme Frappucino ... I had a Treat Receipt for a $2 coffee and told you to order something other than a (free) ice water this time. You order waters because A) it's your jam and B) you like the idea of the logo'd cup. Like your Papa always says, it's better to look good than be good.
Reviews were mixed. You thought it was pretty, naturally, but didn't love it. Or drink it, really. It's still in the refrigerator. But look at you! Trying something new!
From there, we hit the pool. I remember thinking when I was a kid how cool it would be to have my Mom pick me up and take me to where my love language spoke to me. That was either North Long Lake in the summer, or to Ben Franklin in the East Brainerd Mall where I could buy all the Lisa Frank stickers my little heart desired. You know, for my sticker BINDER that I owned and rocked.
Your current love language is water- so we set off to swim.
I floated with my coffee, radio in the background while you dove and jumped, swam and surfaced, and repeat. You were so giddy, and maybe partially hyped up on Frap sugar and full of questions and revelations.
Why do people lie? How many times do they have to lie to become liars?
How come some families adopt, and why do some foster?
How tall will my sunflowers get?
What makes you love music? What is your favorite part to love?
How many until The Beagle dies?
Can I be on the swim team when I am six?
Can I still wear my earrings with my swim cap because if I can't, I might need to wait ... ?
How old were you when you got married? And had me? And why? Was it right?
I am going to name this dive the Cloud Surfer because I am fluffied up like a cloud, and sideways like a surfer.
I only ever want to eat cantaloupe and mac & cheese and smashed potatoes and never meat.
Why are vegetables gross except Great-Grandma S's carrots and pickles?
Blue is my new favorite color- but not like water or the sky or the truck, but regular blue.
What you're doing is not swimming; floating is just not. Why won't you swim? You aren't swimming with me like that. You can't call it swimming if you're FLOATING.
We spent more than two hours just bantering like that. There are days for certain that wearily, I want to lie my head down and just not ... parent, you know? And there are days like this day in the pool that I was just parenting the shit out of you, and being super awesome at it.
What I am trying to say is, I'll probably always remember that day. And I am convinced you will too, because your tiny brain astounds me with what it retains. You'll probably just remember that I picked you up late and forced you to trade water for pink, expensive sugar, and told you that yes, your dog will die someday.
While perfecting your front float.