Saturday, June 4, 2011
"I'm not sure if I find you two inspiring or sickening"
Mark and I have such a tough time getting sitters that can handle Teale that we started having "day dates" a few years ago. He and I take the day off from work, while the kids are in school and spend it alone together. We avoid our endless to do lists and plan something fun, for just the two of us. Today was a "day date" but we didn't really have a plan, we were just going to wing it and since it was for my Birthday, I got to decide the day. We also had an extra bonus, our 16 year old niece was planning to get the girls off the bus, extending our date by about four hours. Teale was WRETCHED this morning, insisting "no bus today," fighting over getting bathed, over getting dressed, over brushing her hair, over taking her medicine, you name it, she fought it! Well, luckily we got her turned around and on her school bus, so our day date could begin. After catching our breath, we had to deal with just a few issues first. Then we were off to capture some PRECIOUS time alone, reconnecting with each other was our goal. We started with the Greek Festival, where we split some good Greek food and listened to some Greek music. Next we went in search of a gluten free bakery, because I am diagnosed with Celiac Sprue I am often in search of good GF breads and pastry. There is a Gluten Free/Vegan Free Bakery in Rochester called Eco Bella that I wanted to hit. I got a moon pie, (but they didn't have an RC cola ~ only you southerners or musicians would get that one, I think?) and Mark got a peanut butter bar. We were in the same neighborhood my Father grew up in at this point and for some reason, I had been wanting to see my grandparents old house. Driving past it made me feel connected and I had been missing them lately. We went in search of it and I was embarrassed that I was no longer 100% sure which number it was, it had been so long since I had last been there. At that point we were near the graveyard my Mom and her Mom, my closest grandparent, are buried, so I suggested going there. Their plot was kinda a mess, the flowers and plants I had planted were not doing well and it needed weeding. I didn't have my gardening tools with me, so we just told stories about both my Mom and Grandmother. I love that Mark knew them both well and can remember much about them. We talked about the time that Mark thought these vines my Mom had growing were weeds and he weed whacked them, she had steam coming out of her ears when she saw what he had done! We were not yet married, so I think he was really worried, little did he know she would quickly forgive. Then there was the time he had to carry my Grandmother up the stairs to our only bathroom in our first house. My grandmother was frail physically, but she was still swift mentally and she often cracked us both up. I had to help her go to the bathroom and when I pulled up her pants I accidentally tucked in both her breasts. Oh how she and I laughed as I had to lift her breasts out of her pants and then again when we shared the story with Mark! She was a riot, I so miss her great sense of humor. I like going to their grave, it is a connection to them that brings me peace, something I never felt at a grave before the loss of my Mom. I miss both of them and often think about how much they would have enjoyed my kids. Mark and I talked and laughed and then quietly walked to our van, me wondering why I lost my Mom so young. Next, I had been wanting to take Mark to one of my favorite places, Corbett's Glen, surprisingly he had never been there. It is this great park in our area that I have taken Beau and Gwenn to several times. We walk in the creek, catch crayfish, hike through the woods and swing from a rope into a swimming hole. Somehow Mark had always missed out because he has been at work or maybe he had been with Teale, who would struggle to physically maneuver the trails and creek. Mark and I grew up only about 3 miles apart from each other but our lives didn't cross until we were about 20 and 22 years old. My family loved Corbett's Glen, Mark's family apparently never knew about it? It was fun to show him the place I often hung at as a kid and have taken Beau and Gwenn to. If you have never gone, go, it is one of those perfect childhood memories still etched deeply in my heart. Mark and I took a blanket, ate our treats from Eco Bella and laid in the sun. Relaxing is a huge luxury in our daily lives, so we were determined to fit in some down time. After a short hike we got back in the car and headed to a friend's new coffee place. Three Beagles Cafe, is along the canal in Bushnell's Basin, it is so tranquil there, like being on vacation just miles from our own home. We strolled hand in hand along the new trail, reminiscing about our 22 years together. Our friend, the owner was there, so we talked to her too. She had lost her husband to cancer about four years ago, I hesitated for a split second to bring him up, but knew it may be God telling me to. She talked openly, seemingly glad I had asked about him. I knew although it was unsaid, but both Mark and I wondered how or what we would ever do without each other. At some point she said to us "I'm not sure if I find you two inspiring or sickening." I laughed, wondering if others felt that way about us? We have an easy relationship that I know is very special. Our next stop was The Mendon Carnival, another place that would be fun with Beau and Gwenn, but Teale would find overwhelming. At this point I realize that all day we somehow had picked activities that Teale would find tough to do. It wasn't like it was purposeful, but maybe subconsciously it was? There hadn't been a glitch, there wasn't a worry, we easily went from place to place as a couple, alone. We had some food and a couple drinks at the carnival, walking around watching everyone else's kids. We listened to the Fireman's Band and we talked about what it was like to go there when we were teens. I remembered how it was always held around my Birthday and my friends would take me. We would try to win goldfish and of course check out the boys. As Mark and I walked around and ran into friends, we had conversations without interruptions and finished thoughts without worrying. We talked a lot about how Teale has changed our life, how our life is vastly different than we expected. We talked about how most people would not understand that, but that we are thankful for those of you who do. After awhile we needed to get home so our niece could leave. As we drove into the driveway, I heard laughter from inside and was glad to be home. Our life is not always easy, but days like today help me to get through the tough days.