Manny wasn't feeling very active last night, so he took a nap pretty much as soon as he got home. While he was sleeping, Kitten and I had dinner. For once, Kitten agreed to eat something that wasn't a hot dog or cheese cube. She actually ate the same thing that I was eating - salmon, wild rice, and a salad. My child was ever-so-delicately picking at a little salad! This never happens! After dinner, we chilled out in our beanbag chairs and watched a little Finding Nemo. It then struck me that it was pretty much ridiculous that we weren't outside enjoying the lovely weather, so we headed out to the park. It wasn't crowded at all, so Kitten just ran all over the place while I chatted with a mom who had adopted a little Russian boy with Down syndrome.
It was nearly impossible to get Kitten to leave the park, but I was able to persuade her into leaving with the promise of ice cream. We headed over to the Chocolate Moose, the legendary local ice creamery. We were behind a woman who not only ordered ice cream for herself, but for her dog as well. Kitten wanted strawberry with sprinkles and I got butter pecan & pumpkin. We sat on a bench and she tried to feed a bird some ice cream (the bird was not interested). In the car on the way home, I was so happy that the evening had gone so well, I even let Kitten draw on her arms with green marker. It wasn't until we got home that I realized she had put some on her eyelids, too.
After getting her all bathed and brushed and powdered and tucked into bed, we read Harold & the Purple Crayon and Good Night, Little Bear, and she conked out. By then, Manny was awake, so we hung out, watched some TV, and cuddled a bit. It was just an evening when I was able to put my life into perspective.
I have this wonderful little creature who sings along to "Yellow Submarine," talks back to Dora the Explorer, identifies not-so-common animals like the possum and the moose, wears band-aids like stickers, and tells me I look "so pretty!" I have a man who is not just a damn fine accessory when I go out in public, but he treats me with such respect and love that, for once, I really feel like one equal half of a team. Along with him, I get a bonus daughter who I love just as if she was my own, but who I also can treat like my buddy. My life may not be easy or simple or calm, but it's mine, it's a hell of a lot better than it used to be, and I'm going to enjoy it as much as I possibly can.