Picture this scenario. If you're a mom, it probably won't be too hard to visualize. Let's say that you spent your Friday night at the grocery store (after a long, challenging week at work). You'd found a recipe online and decided to prepare it for your family. While at the store, you made sure you picked up all of the needed ingredients. Then, before church on Sunday, you prepared said recipe - a vegetarian casserole - and got it ready for baking. After church, you raced home and got the casserole into the oven. When it was done baking, you called out to your family that lunch was ready. Your daughter showed up with her iPad and acted offended by the meal. She proceeded to watch funny cat videos on YouTube. Every few seconds you asked her, "Why aren't you eating?" and she ignored you.
This was my afternoon. Irritated that my daughter was being disrespectful, I hopped into the van and drove off. This weekend brought with it the first decent temperatures we've seen in many months. So, I wanted to be outside. I headed to a wildlife sanctuary on the other side of town. I guess everyone else had the same idea - parking was a bear. I finally found a spot and then walked around for a while, looking at birds and otters and other creatures. As expected, my phone rang a few minutes after I arrived. "Mama, why did you leave?" When she found out where I was, she began to wail and asked me to come back for her. I suggested that perhaps she should be more respectful next time. She called me back several times in a ten-minute span. Finally, she gave up.
As for me, I enjoyed the quiet afternoon. It was kind of nice to be able to walk where I wanted to walk and see what I wanted to see without having to consult with anyone else. The water throughout the sanctuary was mostly still frozen. I wondered if the ducks and geese were second guessing their decision to come back to the area quite so soon. I imagined the geese couples arguing, "See Stacy? I told you we should wait two more weeks. But nooooo, someone said 'it's never too soon to migrate.'" Inside the nature center, they have telescopes set up so that you can peer into the distant woods and see what you can find They have a little paper log and a pen stationed nearby so that you can jot down what you spotted through the lens. I looked at the list. Some people saw red-winged black birds. Another spotted a fat squirrel and a robin. And yet another saw, naturally, "Your mom."
If my sidekick gets her act together, maybe she can join me next time.