Sunday, January 07, 2007

Mall Rat

Today I went to Sherway Gardens all by myself. Not in the sense that I needed to hold someones hand while driving or get permission to take the car but, alone. We sometimes visit this mall - the rich mall is what we call it. The moniker is simply based on the fact that there is no Zellers, WalMart or Dollar Store. There are stores you read about in magazines and lots of lovely pretty things to look at.

I had to exchange a Christmas gift from hubby and since Rosebud is still throwing up occasionally 5 days later we can't really take her out of the house. The girls love this mall though as it is one of the few left with water features. My girls are so easily entertained with a handful of pennies and these water features.

I remember when I was younger just about every mall had fountains and water. Fairview Mall had great fountains that raised and lowered and had nice marble around them (well it looked like marble) to sit on and admire the show. Scarborough Town had the coolest with miniature hot air balloons over the water that went up to the second story of the mall and back down again. Scarborough Town Centre also had a restaurant called Obie's and some of my fondest memories of my Grandmother are from breakfasts at Obie's on my weekends with my Dad. They used to give kids a paper crown with feathers to wear and at the end of the meal you could pick a ring (not sure what they did for boys mind you) from a bowl and boy did I love those rings! I digress, back to today.

Me at Obie's!

I suppose these water features are not exactly easy to maintain or the most hygienic so perhaps that is why so few malls have them nowadays. We enjoy our trips to Sherway and listening to the wishes the girls come up with - if they tell us that is. Papoosie Girl is very superstitious about the "telling" and the potential for the wish not to come true.

As I wandered around I had a chance to visit those stores that we tend to avoid or peruse very quickly when the girls are around. I had a leisurely browse through Williams and Sonoma and discovered that I am easily dazzled by pretty packaging and lovely scents. Who needs twenty dollar marshmallows? But, oh that gorgeous tin! After venturing into a few stores before heading home feeling a tad guilty for not exactly rushing, even after hubby suggested I get myself lunch and take my time I realized something. Why is it that even when I am alone do I notice every pregnant couple, family with a new baby, and families in general?

I was surrounded by so many people with babies and all I could do was think of things to say to them. To the expecting couple in Pottery Barn Kids no it will not matter that your linens have been discontinued, yes, those other bumpers match fine. Really, save your energy. Your life is about to change in ways you can never imagine, your heart will swell and break into a million pieces every day and it won't matter if your lavender bumpers are in the same linen family the first time junior barfs on them.

To all the couples with their brand new babies and million dollar strollers so shiny and new - just you wait. Junior may not be shrieking or grabbing or peeing on the floor but he will. That smugness of, look we can still shop and do what we want will quickly vanish once junior is a little more mobile.

But mostly what I think I wanted to say was, me too! To the Mom piling on more Goldfish on the stroller tray, to the Dad trying furiously to bend juniors ramrod body back into a stroller, and to the Mom so frazzled she declared they were leaving - now. I wanted to say I'm not really a woman of leisure, I don't have free time, I'm not really like this in real life, I'm, I'm a Mom too! It is so strange to me that this part of me has simply become me. It is so undeniably a part of who I am I cannot even separate for a solitary trip to the mall.

Does this mean I am lost I wonder out loud. I don't think so. I think I am exactly who I am meant to be. I will sleep later, I will read real books later, I will catch up on movies later, I will be the other me later or maybe never. Now I am Mom. With great pride I relish this role and all the angst, frustration, occasional boredom and profound fulfillment it brings.

My love for my girls causes me a physical ache and most of the time I operate with a sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop. The moments of true bliss, walking along the beach picking up shells with Papoosie Girl as our cups burst with keepers with not a watch or a worry in site. Or, picking apples in the September sun, as Rosebud picks apples faster than anyone and fills her basket to the brim and proclaims with each apple, I am not eating any OK? These are the moments you cannot imagine even existing before you had children. They make the memories of your old life look like fading postcards. These are so real and vivid and the wide eyed lust for life evident on these tiny faces makes you wonder what you found so important before. Not that I don't have so many wonderful memories of the past but, none are so sharp and all encompassing as those with my girls and shared with hubby. We marvel that we made these girls, we made these miracles - imagine we did it twice!

They are the love of my life and even a trip to the mall can seem uneventful without them. It is funny what you can find at the mall these days.

1 comment:

bubandpie said...

I like to hit Sherway Gardens when I visit my BFF in Milton, just to gawk at all the eye candy in Williams & Sonoma and Pottery Barn (stores not available here in London). And I've always been taken aback by all the posh strollers - here in Mallville everybody drives an Evenflo or a Graco (one good reason to live farther away from Toronto! - no stroller envy or stroller shame).

But you're right - the Secret Club extends even to Sherway Gardens. And I've felt that too - when I'm out without my children I can smile at the babies but then I always feel as if I've left my membership badge at home, and I want to jump in and say, "Don't worry, I'm not some weirdo trying to steal your baby! I've got two of my own at home!"