We've been drifting through summer. Ben's away, the kids have yet to start any kind of camp so each day has rather dreamily led into the next. I'm making absolutely no forward progress in any other area of my life but letting go of the schedule has been nice for all of us. We're staying up late at night and waking up (relatively) late in the morning. The whole family actually slept until 8:30 the other day, unheard of. And while it has had its delights, the kids are beginning to drive each other a little crazy. "Lana, stop singing!" "Mae pulled my hair!" "Mama, mama, Mae, Lala, dit-it!" (which translates into "Mama, mama, Mae and Lana did it!") And, of course, they're driving me a bit batty, too. I'm big on me-time and I haven't had much of it.
I didn't get time by myself yesterday but I did manage to engineer a little special time with Lana, something she, especially, needs on a regular basis. Being only with one child, particularly with a child over three, sounded pretty luxurious. It involved scoring a babysitter for Mihiretu and securing Mae at a friend's birthday party, but finally we were free. We decided to see "Toy Story 3". But before the movie, by mutual consent, we hit H&M.
H&M, the European Target, has long been a favorite of mine. I shopped there first in New York, then was thrilled a few years later when one opened in San Francisco. I've had many field trips into the city with only H&M and the killer fabric store, Britex, on my agenda. When I moved back to Marin and discovered that one had opened in my very own childhood mall, I was thrilled beyond words. There's even a Forever 21 going in next to it. I may never have to go to San Francisco again. Ballet, opera, symphony, museums, who needs them when you can get the cutest little fashion-forward pink dress for only ten dollars?
This new H&M has a children's department. I went on a reconnaissance mission last week and knew that Lana would love it. As I've mentioned here before, the girl has an eye. She knows what she likes and, from the age of two, has been putting together some excellent outfits. The kids stuff at H&M is very much like the adult stuff, only shrunk-down. Lana, who describes herself as "rock and roll", was going to eat it up.
As we rode the escalator to the second floor, the home of the kid's section, Lana, her already big eyes saucer-like as she gazed at the women's clothes below us, said, "I just can't stop smiling." We had planned to not buy much, the kids are pretty set for summer clothes. This was merely an introduction. Lana, meet H&M. H&M, Lana. We bought some underwear for Mihiretu, a pair of shorts for Mae and a coral newsboy hat for Lana, which she has worn ever since, including in bed.
Our next stop was the movie, which was excellent. Andy is off to college and what will happen to his toys? I'm a sucker for nostalgia, particularly the prospect of being nostalgic about my children once they've grown. Nostalgia about future nostalgia? I'm already weepy, even when I'm so busy making meals, cleaning up messes and rescuing kids from nightmares at two a.m., that I can barely see straight. It doesn't last long, this time with my kids, I know that. And sitting there, tears dripping off my chin, holding my Lana's hand, I was awfully glad for the moment to recognize it.
We stepped out of the movie theater, Lana's hat stylishly askew, chatting happily. The little dose of joy, the quiet away from the chaos of three kids, the warmth of my kid's hand had filled me right back up again. I was ready to jump back into the fray. Why do I need me-time when I can hang out with my friend, Lana? And go shopping no less?