After we drop Curly Miss off at Preschool, Little Mister invariably asks to visit the mall. I'm not quite sure what the draw is to go there, especially since none of the stores except Starbucks are even open at that hour.
For whatever the reason he requests the mall and today I acquiesced, driving through the pounding rain to park in the soggy parking lot outside the Bed, Bath and Beyond entrance. Extracting Little Mister from his five point harness and tucking my debit card into my coat pocket, we dashed through the rain to doors.
Once inside we were assaulted with all the glitter of the approaching Christmas season. It used to annoy me that they decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving but I finally decided it was a waste of energy to be negative about it. Now I just enjoy the bright reds, the shiny golds and the festive air. I love Christmas.
We strolled slowly down the tiny mall's single corridor. The demographic of early weekday mornings used to surprise me. The mall, instead of being echoing and empty as I had expected, teems with people, mostly retired. They sit chummily on benches, fill the chairs at Starbucks and powerwalk in pairs and threes around and around the "strip".
Today I made a beeline for Starbucks myself. While I waited in line my outgoing son began flirting with the many grandparents sitting all around us. He would walk up to a group of them grinning broadly and stand on tiptoe to see what was on their table. They of course were enchanted as soon as they saw him and would immediately begin patting his head and trying to get him to give them five which is an activity he scorns.
Once he'd made the rounds I had my tall two-pump white mocha and it was time to continue on our way. Walking down the length of the mall with a two-year-old is an experience in noticing details I would otherwise never notice. He walked along pointing out brackets on glass walls and stepping on only the green floor tiles. He led me in and out of the benches and tables and later into a shoe shop.
It took us 45 minutes to walk the entire length of the strip and back to the car, including one detour into Ross to pick up a set of crib sheets that were on sale. It was actually fun, just spending time together, enjoying each other's company and the sights around the mall. Because I took the time to see the world through his eyes, it became one of those magic Mommy-moments transforming a mundane activity into a snapshot of love that I will always cherish.