"You can't tell people what they want to hear if you also want to tell the truth"
-The Hold Steady
For the past few months Sarah, play tutor extraordinaire, has been coming over on Sundays for 3 hours to work with Little Bird. This has become somewhat of a relaxing date time for Gregory and me. Over the summer, we'd spend these hours on our boat (soon to be sold), alone or with friends. Since summer has ended, we've found other things to do together; shopping (he's more into it than I am), walking around book stores (I'm more into it than he is), etc. This week we decided to get manicures (he's more into it than I am), and then go sit in a coffee shop and read our books (I'm more into it than he is).
We walked into the nail shop and just as I'd picked out my color, tons of little girls came into the salon. It was probably ten, but it seemed like tons. A birthday party to get mani/pedis? Ummm ok. Then I saw my friend's daughter (whom I adore) and I realized that this was a 5 year old's birthday party!! Wow. I know I'm completely out of the loop in terms of what normal parents do for their normal 5 year old's birthday parties, but I was kinda shocked. I'm in absolutely no position to judge what any other mother is going to do for her child, but... Okay, fine. It was also very hard to see typical kids the same age as mine doing, well, anything. So here I was trying to enjoy a little time off, a date with my husband and I was bombarded by the very thing that brings me the most pain. I looked over at Gregory and he had a sad kind of look on his face. I can read him well. He feels sad and sorry for me. Of course he's sad for himself, too. But I think he knows that this stuff is way more in my face than his. I see these kids more often, hear stories from their moms, and read their cute little stories as FB status updates. Still, I know it hurts him, too.
We left after my nails were 75% dry. That was enough. We made our way to the coffee house, shared a brownie, sipped out tea and coffee, and read our books. We had a nice time and didn't let the "nail shop incident" throw us off track or get in the way of our enjoying our time together. May that be a metaphor... Yes, it's tough to see those kids and those moms, but it's not my path. We're taking a different path. We're taking a different road. And we're trying (hard) to make the most of it.