In the pre-holiday shuffle of trying to do too many things in too little time, one afternoon we found ourselves as a family of seven in the car with a list of errands in the city. In hopes of staying home for as long as we could over the vacation weeks, and with plans of bringing good food to all the gatherings we'd be attending...a great big grocery shopping trip was in the works, among other errands. With sniffles from most of the kids, and cold rain falling outside, the best option we could come up with was for everyone to sit in the car to read and listen to music while one of us did the shopping. Not an uncommon thing that happens and generally one that works just fine, but on this particular day, and with these particular moods, and this particular full parking lot, it felt so very far from a good idea. Steve and I - caught up in the work of our own week - were as frazzled and exhausted as the children on this particular day. With many hours of errands and travel ahead in the car and patience being lost by the minute, even we could see where the day was heading. Nowhere good. It needed saving and we were too tired to see our way out of it. Which is just the very moment at which, as Steve and I were about to rock-paper-scissors for who did the shopping and who sat in the car (neither appealing to either of us), my mother sent me a text, rather out of the blue. "What are you guys doing?" she said (except that it was in all caps, and with a few extra commas 'cause that's how my dear Mama texts). A hurried and likely pathetic tale of where we were at followed, which she responded just as quickly to with "that's ridiculous. bring my babies here." And then she insisted.
Nevermind that she already had three other grandchildren that she was watching in that moment. Nevermind that she had been doing that for days already. Nevermind that of course she had her very own long list of pre-holiday baking, shopping, cleaning, and making to do. She's a pretty special one, my Mama.
Cheers erupted from the back of the car as we pulled out of the parking lot to detour across the bridge to Grammie and Grampie's house. And deep sighs emerged from the front of the car as we realized this was exactly what we needed most of all in this moment. We couldn't remember the last time we had a date. And here it was - unexpectedly, on a Wednesday afternoon!
Grocery shopping ensued (with two of us!), and a quick little sit down for drink and conversation (just for two!), and then a quick little jaunt to do some stocking stuffer shopping (for ourselves!). Which is how I found myself at Knitwit, forced by my husband to choose a few skeins of yarn....quickly, because by now, surely even the magnificent Grammie was ready for a break from the eight children in her care.
Some skeins were quickly tucked into a bag I pretended not to see until Christmas morning. And this one, this DK String Theory, tucked under my arm to be put right to use. I cast on for the honey cowl on the car ride home - the peaceful car ride with five happy children and two refreshed adults, thanks to Grammie. And with a little bit of magic, I think, from our unexpected Wednesday afternoon date, this cowl managed to come off the needles just as quickly as it went on - even in the middle of the holiday flurry.
And yes, yes....my Mama most definitely is getting the next cowl off the needles. She deserves that and so much more.