On the walk from the car into school, the kids and I got to talking about the election, spurred by a yard sign we passed. Cal, holding my hand as we walked, asked questions about the presidency. “Does the President have to live in the White House, or could he live elsewhere?” “Does the President make as much money as Dad?” I thought to myself, “His paradigm for life is exclusively, or mostly, in the personal, in home, in the survival of one’s family.”
With my head full of thoughts about the particulars of the presidency, I headed to a favorite neighborhood café, a place where I suppose you could call me a regular. The scent of bacon suffused the sunlight-flooded room as I walked in. I met up with my friend Kira, who I know from Abbott’s preschool days a surprising number of years ago. Perhaps it was a tribal instinct, my desire to connect with this friend with whom I shared the anxieties of the elementary school admissions process, as I begin looking at middle schools. We drank tea as we talked, and bought after-school snacks for our kids on the way out: blueberry muffins and cookies embedded with candy corns. As there always are at this time of day, there were sets of friends scattered throughout the café. I saw a woman I recognized from school, there with her preschooler having a snack. Some people sat alone, reading; some worked at laptops. The same kind of scene you could see, midmorning, at neighborhood cafés everywhere, I expect.
Midday, I ran errands at an outdoor shopping area. Today was one of those days that makes autumn famous – optic blue sky, a slight chill in the sunny air, color-coordinated piles of leaves embellishing the sidewalks. I replenished my stock of Bad Gal mascara. I bought Cal a book entitled Cheerful I knew he’d love, got Abbott a pair of jeans, socks for everyone. I stopped in the candy store, as I invariably do. I have always loved candy indiscriminately. I have a particular weakness for Halloween sweets: the candy corns, the little orange candy pumpkins with green stems.
When I got home and checked the mail, I inhaled sharply at the unexpected surprise of a new Lego catalog, just as I knew Cal would, and did, when I handed it to him after school.
Then there was hockey practice, with players in pink laces and pink stick tape for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Now, before too much time passes, I’ll find my way back into bed, looking out for a minute at the same kinds of lights on passing boats I saw when I got up this morning, and entwine myself with Alexi for safekeeping.