This morning, the sun was shining, the humidity was down, so I walked with 4yo Guppy and his friend to the coffee shop, which is closing this Saturday, but will reopen with new owners in late June/early July. The breeze ruffled my hair as I walked with two little hands in mine. We waved and said hello when we saw R, our mail carrier. We chatted with a neighbor and her son who were going to look at the fire house, then waved at the fire fighters as a truck drove by.
In front of the shop, M, the owner, greeted the kids by name. I asked T, the barista, for my usual–a double short latte in their smallest for-here cup. I didn’t have to tell her what it was; she made it flawlessly and suggested a raspberry Italian soda for the kids. They so loved it they could barely sit still to drink it.
I thanked M for her shop, said it had probably saved my life–we moved to this neighborhood in the fall. It turned cold early and we knew few people. I was at home with a temperamental 1yo, so the walk to the coffee shop ensured I’d get outside and talk to an adult before my husband got home. That carried me till spring, when I took ECFE classes, joined a moms group, and met neighbors when they emerged from their houses.
The kids played pretend backgammon while I sipped my drink. On the walk home, we said hello to an older couple up the street, whose daughter in law is one of the current baristas, and one of the new owners. The husband asked us to wait then went to get a wooden top he’d made, and showed the kids how to use it. They were delighted, and so was I when the man urged us to have it. “You’ve walked by our house for years,” he said to me (it’s on the way to the coffee shop). “Enjoy.” We took it home, and that’s exactly what they did.
Until the bickering started. But then it was lunchtime, and time for preschool, and so we moved on through our day.