Alone Time With Your Biological Kids
Xander stuck his nose in a jar of dried fennel and growled “yuck!” like he had been expecting something more subtle. This made no sense, because all the herbs and spices so far had been strong. I asked him if he recognized the smell from a certain kind of candy, and he did–licorice. Halle grabbed another jar off the spice shelf and asked if we could sniff that one. I opened the jar, they both sniffed and grimaced, and then asked for another. This went on for 30 minutes, until we found the kid’s coloring area at Penzey’s Spices. They parked their little butts at that table while I checked out the French grey sea salt and freeze-dried chives.
This is the first time in months that the kids and I have done something for no real reason. Instead of driving home after I picked Xander up from school like I usually would, I decided to stay out and about for a few hours before taking them to their dad’s for the weekly tradeoff.
The afternoon transformed into a long walk on Park Avenue in Winter Park instead of my typical gratuitous driving from one end of town to another. We had a snack of herbed French fries at Park Plaza Gardens. We popped in the wonderful toy store Lighten Up! to get a birthday gift. The kids window shopped: Halle discovered a full-size harp (jaw on the floor); a lion’s head bust and an enormous amethyst geode caught Xander’s attention. We found a rill filled with fat koi, tucked away in an alley off the avenue. We meandered through the park and came upon a collection of pink flamingos, placed there as part of the Pink Out campaign benefitting the Winter Park Memorial Hospital Mammography Scholarship Fund.
It is good to take time away from our blended family life and have special time with my own kids every once in a while. By the time we arrived at dad’s, we were a tight-knit bundle of love, and I have sweet memories of the afternoon with them–their most natural and comfortable facial expressions and their esoteric observations–to carry with me until next week when they’re back.