Every so often when I’m out and about for work I like to treat myself to a really nice lunch. This week there was such a day and I indulged in some fare from The British Fish and Chips eatery in Haddonfield.
While I was there a mother about my age came in with her three little boys. The oldest looked to be about nine, then there was Charlie who was about two and a baby boy who was old enough to sit up on his own but not old enough to walk or crawl. The later two boys had heads full of fluffy blonde curls (the nine year old had very short hair and I imagined he was blessed with the same curly mop, but being nine he felt himself too old and mature for curls). As I watched this mother get everyone situated at a table I felt a pang of envy rise up into my chest.
How nice is must be to have three such wonderful little boys. Sigh. I wonder if I will EVER have a little boy of my own to take to lunch.
I continued to steal wistful glances at them in between reading paragraphs from the book I had and taking bites of my creamy cheesy Welsh Rarebit.
About twenty minutes into the excursion that I’m sure the mother thought would be quite interesting and fun for the boys, the young little gentlemen became restless. Charlie no longer wanted any parts of sitting still in a seat and decided to use his stroller as a jungle gym. The baby thought it great fun to test out his vocal capacity and the oldest became sullen and annoyed with the antics of his younger siblings. The exasperated mother rushed through eating and finally decided that it was best to pack everyone up and leave. A few times I saw her throw a wistful glance in my direction and I could only imagine she was thinking…
How nice it must be to sit at a table all by yourself with no distraction or interruptions savoring lunch and enjoying a book.
I chuckled to myself and decided to change my attitude. I was determined to be completely and absolutely grateful right in the moment that I was in, because yes it was nice to be enjoying a quiet yummy lunch while reading an interesting book. And who knows someday I may be the one trying to wrestle a wiggly uncooperative toddler into his stroller reminiscing about the days when I enjoyed quiet peaceful lunches. Likewise that mother may be having a peaceful lunch by herself reminiscing about the days when she had three lovely little boys who wanted nothing more than all of her love and attention.