I took a personal day today to be a mom on a field trip. Reed's class went to see a live performance of Beauty and the Beast and eat at the park afterwards. The trip was fun - seeing Reed interact with his friends, watching him act like he didn't like the romantic part where Belle "kisses" Beast (actually, she gently caresses his fur mask, but who can tell when they're peeking through their fingers?), holding a friend's sweet baby through the entire performance, being one of the cool moms who brings fast food instead of a sack lunch, and yacking it up with other teachers and moms while only having to keep an eye on one kid instead of an entire class! But the best part of the trip was after I signed my boy out for the day. I had given him the choice of riding the bus back to school with his friends, riding with me to pick Calvin up after school, or going "somewhere" before we headed to pick both brothers up at the sitter's. He chose exactly what I thought he would: to go to Toys R Us. I let him ride shotgun and he nervously accepted after I told him we'd move the seat all the way back and I'd drive really carefully.
We decided to make an impromptu stop at the local nature center before we left the park. We read about arrowheads, pressed all the turkey call buttons, took a silly picture, and gawked at the two-headed snake, all completely uninterrupted by pesky siblings, impatient dads, or attention deficit-ed classmates (a completely rare phenomenon).
It was nice. Then, we enjoyed a leisurely stroll through toy heaven, where I got a detailed explanation of several characters that, while it didn't particularly interest me, didn't annoy the ever-loving crap out of me (also rare lately). He debated and debated what to get with his tiny allowance savings, then melted my heart when he settled on three Pez dispensers, two picked out especially for his brothers.
I stopped at a gas station to use the restroom and treat us to a snack, wanting to buy something for my generous little man. He opted for peanut butter cups. I got Bugles. I shared mine with him and he politely asked if I would be violating my lenten promise if I ate just one peanut butter cup or one Pez candy. I regretfully declined, heart melted again! We had a philosophical discussion about sin which somehow morphed into a super-detailed movie description (or video game, I'm really not sure). Let's just say my mind wasn't fully engaged and I started to get drowsy, so I started a round of "Would you Rather...?" that entertained for miles.
Nothing that we did was super special, but I have a feeling by the way Reed acted, it was special to him. And me, too. Without having to compete for attention with two rather loud competitors, he proved to me that he's not just a boy who never. stops. talking. He's actually a great conversationalist with some great things to say. Our date made me realize all over again what a neat little guy we're raising.