It had been about a week since I’d had an hour “off”, so after I got the kids down for their naps today, and after Dan got home (he only worked a half day today to be able to spend extra time with his parents while they’re visiting) I grabbed my book and headed to Starbucks to have lunch all by myself. It’s a good thing for me to do — even just having a little time off from the moment-to-moment demands of being a mom does wonders for my resiliency. I got myself a sandwich and an iced tea, grabbed a seat at the very last outdoor table, and sat down to read.
A few minutes after I sat down, the threatening clouds gave way to a little drizzle and then a decent rain. I scooted my table over a bit to be better covered by the umbrella and continued on with my lunch and my book. Looking around a few minutes later, I realized that the packed outdoor seating area had been deserted by all but me and two others. After a few minutes, the wet and the cold started to bother me a little, and I decided that I really needed a warm cup of coffee. So, I grabbed my wallet, but arranged my book and bag to make it very obvious my seat was still taken — I wanted hot coffee, but not at the expense of my seat.
I went inside to wait in line to order my coffee, looked out the steamy window into the rain at the deserted patio and laughed at myself. In the steady rain, on a chilly afternoon, I decided I needed to save my seat at the outdoor cafe. (In that moment, I failed to realize that just because I enjoyed my arrangement so much did not mean that anyone else would want to be in it. I managed to get my coffee and get back outside without losing my seat, strangely enough.)
Later this afternoon, we all went to the Belvedere Palace to do some sightseeing. It’s one of the places I went with Dan last year when I came to visit — I was amazed by the scale and beauty of the grounds, and that was in February. It was even more magnificent today — the flowers are in bloom, the trees are full and green and all of the fountains were on. It was Benjamin’s first time there, and he loved it. He loves fountains and flowers, and the palace grounds offered a ton of freedom for running and playing. He ran around in circles, ran up a ramp and down the stairs and challenged all of us to races. (I haven’t run so much in years.)
At the end of his exploring, we came upon some fresh puddles from this morning’s rain. He wanted to splash, and he did, with enthusiasm. I explained that his shoes and socks might get wet, and that we still had to go to dinner afterwards. He started with small splashes, but worked his way up until the water was flying and he was getting soaked. At one point, I opened my mouth to tell him I thought he had saturated himself thoroughly enough . . . and then I realized: I spent my lunch sitting outside in the rain. Who am I to tell him to stop splashing because he’s getting too wet? So, I let him splash. (And I give him credit: he didn’t complain once about being wet.)