" 'After all,' Anne had said to Marilla once, 'I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.' "
--Anne of Avonlea
by L. M. Montgomery
(photo by Tanakawho)
Today was not a grand adventure or a major event. That will come tomorrow; I'm turning 35, and thus far, all that's been revealed to me about the big surprise coming up is that Michael, Brigid and I will be dining with my in-laws tomorrow night, Brigid will be staying there at Grandma's house, and Friday morning, Michael and I will be setting off to some "major metropolitan area" to do something that I am assured I will be "thrilled about" that will take up most of the holiday weekened approaching. My family knows my tastes pretty well, so I have no doubt the surprise will live up to their promises, but for tonight, I remain in suspense.
|(The only picture I have easily available of the vehicle in question [see below]|
is from our wedding day five years ago--hence the snow.)
However, I got another lovely birthday present yesterday evening, in the form of my little Ford Focus resurrected from its coma and breathing new life thanks to a new transmission. (In case you're wondering, yes, everything you've ever heard about how expensive it is to replace a transmission is perfectly true. "Somewhere between 'Ouch!' and 'Boing!' ") Sweet little SuperToddler Brigid loves my car almost as much as I do, so we were both deeply excited to hear that "Blue Car is fixed!" In celebration, she and I spent the day simply enjoying our re-established freedom, i.e. our ability to leave the house even when Papa is at work and has taken "Green Car" with him.
We went to her favorite restaurant, The Olive Garden--expensive tastes, my child--where we BOTH ordered off the children's menu. It's cheaper, it's actually less food, and it's pretty much the only guaranteed way in that particular establishment to order garlic-free food. Thus, a meal without IBS pain for Mama, allowing her and SuperToddler to continue their day out together. I'm learning as quickly as I can how to manage this thing.
Naturally, at some point in the day we had to make a stop at the bank, which is never really fun but unavoidably necessary. The nice lady behind the counter gave us a pretty blue balloon, which brightened up the proceedings immeasurably! Still, we were both much more pleased with our next port of call, one of favorite places in the whole world.
THE LIBRARY! Brigid gets excited the moment we pull into the parking lot. It's funny, because we spend most of our time playing with the toys in the Children's Department; we looked through a book or two briefly, but took much longer creating a "perfect tower," as my budding architect deemed it, with Duplo blocks. Still, we're building positive associations with books, reading, and the public library system, and I always consider that time well spent.
Finally, we found our way to Wal-Mart--surprise, surprise--where we picked up a few household supplies, but it was mostly an excuse to extend our day just a bit longer. Besides, we enjoy toy shopping together, believe it or not. It allows me to have a direct say in what comes home with us (or at least to try), and at times, I'm as excited about our new finds as she is! Tonight was DEFINITELY one of those times. Remember THESE little beauties?!
Ah, the View-Master! How my heart lept with joy when I caught sight of one on Wal-Mart's Toy Department shelves tonight! How I mentally kicked myself for ever letting my precious childhood friend and its little film reels get away from me! The SuperToddler wasn't interested at first--too busy with more tangible-looking treasures--but when she figured out that I was really enjoying viewing something she wasn't seeing, human curiosity reeled her in, and the magic of those tiny "3-D" images did the rest, like with every other kid since the thing was first invented. We had at least an hour of fun with them when we got home, and I'm already fondly imagining shopping for new cards on Amazon or even for vintage cards on E-Bay. So THIS is why people have kids! It's the only way to have this much fun again once you've gotten old and boring! It was a lovely day, just a day out for me and my girl.