I’m so used to running errands with my kids in tow that I feel odd when they are not with me. After a short trip to San Diego (with my hubby, two kids and two pooches) my car smelled like a wet dog and the floor was dotted with tiny grains of sand. Thus, I took a solo trip to the car wash.
After barely making it for the early bird car wash, I walked in, paid and then walked along the long corridor to the waiting area. Along the way, I paused and looked out the windows at the cars being sudsed up and dried with giant looking hair dryers. If my kids were there, they would have had their faces pressed against the glass watching the cars get washed. Yet, they weren’t. So, I went outside and sat down.
I’m not used to sitting down….at least not for more than a few minutes. I actually found myself getting bored. Then, I watched a mother come out of the door with her three children looking frustrated. (I know that look because I’m sure I look frustrated when my kids are being problematic). Her kids looked happy enough but they were climbing on her and being squirrely. She definitely hadn’t had time to sit down in a chair and watch her car being towel cleaned and dried. Before going to claim her car, the mom even said, “I’m so frustrated!” to another patron closest to her. As a mom, I could sympathize with her.
After my car was ready, I went to the grocery store. Typically, I’m with my toddler son at the store. I try to grab as much as I can before he wants to start tearing into the box of fruit snacks, get out of the cart to walk around aimlessly or throw some sort of tantrum. Actually, he’s normally pretty well-behaved. However, before I go shopping, I have to be armed with a snack and a game plan ( in other words, know exactly what I want). There isn’t any time to meander and look at essential oils, lotion or those pastries I know I shouldn’t buy. It's rushed. When I run errands by myself, I take my time, picking out the perfect apples.
While I was running errands by myself, I couldn’t help but notice all the other parents there with their children. One kid was hanging out of the big part of the basket. Some were crying. Other parents were juggling two or three kids. I remember that time, when both of my kids were home all day and I would put my son in his baby bjorn and buckle my daughter into the front basket of the grocery cart. When they were both a little, I loved those carts with the two seat attached to the back. As cumbersome as it was, my kids felt like they were on a roller coaster. It made my errands so much easier.
In a few years, my kids will both be in school for the majority of the day. I imagine I’ll have a lot more time to run errands by myself. Part of me is looking forward to it. The other part of me will miss the juggling act.