Panera 12:29 Wednesday

She looks away as he struggles to pull out his chair, focusing on buttering her roll.  As he takes his seat she looks at him, really looks for the first time in a long time and thinks, “When did he get so old?” Catching a glimpse of her own spotted hands busily buttering, she realizes, it’s not just him.


He’s only four, but he can work the iPad like nobody’s business. He switches from game to movie to game to movie and glances over at his mom to see if she’s impressed with his touch screen prowess. He deflates a bit as he sees her immersed in her own device – switching from email to Facebook to Instagram to Twitter – reporting in with her friends on her awesome lunch out with her little man.


You were cuter on Tinder, she thinks. I‘d like to refill my drink, would that be rude? How long do I have to stay? Maybe the dinner guy will be a real prospect. And then she nods and smiles as if she was listening all along.


She’s gotten heavy, but her hands still move with the same grace they did when the rest of her never stopped dancing.


In her head is a running list of things to be done before the baby comes, a lengthy tirade of practicalities and logistics that never goes quiet enough to let her sleep.


An apple and a salad, she calculates solemnly, that should be OK, right? Definitely not the cookie, a cookie would require two more hours of working out and she doesn’t have time for that today.


He makes sure the bluetooth receiver is attached firmly to his ear and smiles to himself. Chicks dig guys who are up on technology and wearing this contraption makes him look important, like something requiring his attention is going to happen any second.


She’s not sure what to do when left alone with this tiny lisping child. He’s her grandchild and she loves him of course, but she never has any idea what the heck he’s saying. He’s talking and talking. She nods and smiles and reassuringly interjects “Wow” and “Really” from time to time, hoping that’s enough.


She eats alone. It feels like she always eats alone. She worries that she will grow so accustomed to the aloneness that she won’t be able to taste the food in the presence of others.


*I’m participating in Write Yourself Alive – a 30 day online writing program – I’ll be responding to the daily prompts here. To respect the program I won’t actually say what the prompt is, so bear with me – this could be pretty random :)

About Kristen

Me: Kristen, more than 40-something (don't make me face the number), suburban mom of 2, working girl, therapeutic writer, proprietor of an emptying nest Addictions: Iced Coffee, FOMO resulting in twitchy compulsion to check FB/Instagram/Pinterest in an unending loop, texting, hugging my one child while Snapchatting the other and yelling at my dog

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