Dave is lying beside me. He helped me with my computer needs and I think he is playing Solitaire. He is. I just checked. I used to blog this way. I would set my laptop on my lap and begin to write, often late at night. I was always surprised about what came out and how those words, whatever they were, seemed to have these magical healing properties. I loved that long-ago groove I was in.
It is 1:36 AM. I should be asleep. I have developed a terrible sleep pattern. I have been off schedule since the holidays. Oddly, I kind of like it. I just paid the boys’ Nutrikids School Lunch bill and then signed myself up for an American Express promotion. After I signed up I had to hashtag a bunch of offers on Twitter, so I did. Now that H&M has made its way to Salt Lake City, I skipped hashtagging the H&M offer. As Dave filled in earlier this evening and before I could finish, he said, “H&M is not as special now that you do not have to go out of town to buy their clothes.”
“You are absolutely right.” I said as we walked passed the new H&M at the new City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City. H&M and all of City Creek should open by the end of the month (March 22, so they say). Until tonight I never paid much attention to the City Creek project. Tonight, we walked all around the big city blocks. I loved it. I loved that Dave wanted to see as much we could and peer into the new shops and structures. As we looked around and examine all these new buildings with their food courts, restaurants and trendy stores, I was really impressed with all the stone, the architecture and how Salt Lake City has turned to downtown shopping malls from yesteryear into this new and lovely space. Say what you will about Utah, but this space and the new Urban Harmon’s across the street all completely rock.
And today is another reason why I like my family and fall in love with them every time we hit the road. It is Spring. The weather is warm. I know the snow is melted in Salt Lake. I knew the boys had little homework so I hatched up a plan to head for Salt Lake once the boys were out of school. I called Dave and told him he would be missing out and convinced him to meet us at Kyle’s bus stop and this is how we ended up downtown Salt Lake City tonight.
With snacks for all three men in hand, Eli, who I had picked up from his school earlier, and I hit the road. We met Kyle and Dave and were on our way. By 4:30 we reached our first SLC stop, one of our favorite parks. Ever since Kyle’s BFF, Liam, moved to Ohio, whenever we are in Salt Lake, the boys insist we go to this particular park. “Mom, I love this park. It reminds us of Liam.” Of course by the time we arrived at the park everyone had to pee. I honestly thought I would wet my pants. I held strong. We walked to the bathroom and of course found that it was locked; closed for the winter. Behind the bathroom was a tiny canyon path so we decided to walk up it. Within seconds and once we were out of view, I looked to my left, I looked to my right and I looked behind me and saw that I was surrounded by three peeing men. Oh, how I wished I were a dude.
And this is why I like us. When we go on these impromptu adventures, we meander. I am sure our meandering and the fact that we do not have a specific plan may not be everyone’s thing. I love it. I think my family plays along with my random-adventure love and have even grown to love my wandering spirit. Once their bladders were empty and mine was still full, we continued up the path and found our way into the parking lot of a fire station. From the fire station we saw another park across the street so we crossed. Eli, who claimed to be both tired and hungry, blurted out,
“Mom! No! I do not want to keep going up.”
“You can do it, Eli. It will be fun.” Kyle said and then I continued, “Eli, look at this view. Isn’t it awesome?” I am sure he wasn’t buying it, but Eli did indulge us. He kept his complaints to a minimum and kept on walking. Here we stood overlooking the Salt Lake Valley. It was sunny warm and amazing. I cold see the snow on faraway mountaintops and said to Dave, “I want to tell our friend Steve, who always harasses me about my Snow-Hate, that this is the kind of snow I love; on faraway mountaintops that appear like you are looking at a postcard.” Dave laughed. We fantasized about what it would be like to live in these neighborhood. No. We are not moving. We always do this. We wander and then wonder what it would be like to live in Hawaii when we are there, both Portlands (Maine and Oregon) when we are there and I even pictured myself living in London, Dublin or Geneva. We always do this and I love picturing us in all these different spaces.
Along the way, Dave noticed a shirt, then a sock and eventually we noticed a water bottle and maybe a shoe.
“Hey, we almost have an outfit.” Dave said. “I wonder what we will find next.”
I think Eli, because he has a spot on sense of humor, said something like, “a pair of pants?”
We all laughed and made our way from the new park, around a soccer field and across the street to a beautiful new little garden walkway. “I never even knew this was here.” I said.
“Mom. look at all these cool stones. I love the view. I could totally live here.” Kyle responded. “Mom. I really love it here.” I loved Kyle’s attitude and loved that he was playing along.
Eli was hanging in and we made our way back to Liam’s park. We walked up and tried to show the Dave the evil cat graffiti that was painted on the outside wall of the dugout the last time we were at the park.
“Mom, it is gone.” Kyle said, pretending to be sad. I made the boys take another picture in front of the dugout.
“Now we can have the before and after shot.”
I watched the boys play football. One of the boys and my husband had a moment and eventually we made our way to another restaurant where Dave had another free birthday meal coupon. And because I was driving when we left the restaurant, and instead of turning right to go back home, I went another direction. I knew it was getting late and I felt like it didn’t matter.
“Where to next?” Dave asked, and then said, “Let’s go check out the new City Creek Center,” and so we did. By then we were all in good moods (including Eli). I think he was crabby because he needed to eat. We walked. We talked. We explored the cool new grocery store and we peered into the new outdoor shopping mall. Dave and I told the boys how it used to look downtown and let the boys know that without a doubt this new City Creek Center is a major improvement and then Dave blurted out, “That Forever 21 Store takes up a whole city block. See, it was on that side of the street and now it is on this one.”
I cracked up and we were almost back to the car. I snapped a few more cameraphone pictures and the best part was when both boys said,
“Mom, I love it when we do this. I love it when we go on these adventures.”
“So do I. We always did them when you were little. I swear as soon as Dad came home from work, we would pack you up in the car or stroller and go. I miss those times.”
“Why don’t we do it as much anymore?” Kyle asked.
“Because you have school. Homework. Friends. You name it.” I paused and then continued, “Never fear. I will always make sure we fit a few in. You know I can’t sit still.”