As much as I adore this new little person at our house, the loss of freedom that his arrival introduced is also a reality. I love to stay at home, and my friends have absolutely blown me away with their willingness to haul school children, buy groceries, and pick up after me in general. So don’t think I’m complaining–I have no reason to.
But the fact remains that two months ago I could dance out the front door with my purse and a water bottle when I had to go to town, and I could grab my bike and cruise down the road when I felt in need of the wind on my face. Now a trip to Safeway means multiple bags and a car seat and a soother and scheduling it just right so I don’t have to stop for a nursing break halfway through.
It’s easy for me to start thinking of all the things I can’t do anymore. So when Tim asked me to take a vehicle into town for an oil change this week and suggested that I take the electric bike along and use it to do my errands, I jumped at the chance. It would feel like old, independent times, I thought.
After dropping off the truck, I tucked Quincy into his front carrier, squirmed my backpack onto my back, and hopped onto the bike. I could almost pretend to be one of those slim athletic moms if I firmly refused to think about the library’s American Girl doll protruding ungracefully out of the backpack, and my long skirt blowing in the wind. I relished the fresh fall air and the feeling of escaping from prison and pretended to be someone else entirely.
Today I had to take another vehicle in for an oil change. Naturally, I loaded up the electric bike, baby carrier, and backpack, along with my purse and diaper bag and a car seat for Quin. We dropped off the van, and I buckled and snapped and wiggled around till we were set. Off we rode through the town in the bright sunshine and chilly wind. Hello, athletic mom vibe.
My delight continued in Safeway when I discovered even more good deals than I was planning on. Milk for $1.57/gallon! Two gallons plopped into my cart. Hamburger for $2.29/lb! Eighteen lbs joined the milk. Caesar salad dressing was cheaper if I got three bottles, so I did. Oh, and I had forgotten we needed mayonnaise.
Not until I got to the checkout did I remember the skinny little gray backpack I had to transport all my treasures. I made a good effort, but hamburger insisted on spilling out the top, the dressing didn’t fit anywhere, and I could hardly lift it all anyway. I found a helpful person to park my cart in the refrigerator and sheepishly biked back to pick up the van. I’m a mom of five, a mini van driver, and a buyer of large cart loads of groceries.
So long, athletic mom visions–I liked you while you lasted.