Monday, October 29, 2012

40 Days of Birthday: Day Thirty-Six



Nicholas had an open house at his school and we’d miss seeing him for most of today. My plan was to have a Mama and Lennon adventure: we would visit a local playground and then hit up a second hand children’s clothing store. I’m looking for a snowsuit and a play kitchen for him for Christmas. More days than not, when I collect him from Kita, he’s at the play kitchen there, opening doors, putting blocks in the sink and taking them out again.


Lucky for us, just as we were about to leave, Kelly from upstairs invited us to go to the playground with her and Otis. I told her of our scheme with the second hand shop. She added the idea of a cup of coffee and we had a plan. At the playground, Lennon and Otis crawled all over—through the sand, into the little houses. The dangerous looking boulders jutting out through the landscape were most interesting to Lennon. We tried the swing again—last time he was overtired and didn’t dig it. He enjoyed it enough today but wanted to take more control over the actual swinging part, which the baby swing isn’t really designed for. His back and forth motion made the swing jerk in a way that scared me it’d tip over. He didn’t protest when I pulled him out.


We stopped into the second hand children’s shop. They had a sweet red and white wood play kitchen in the window and I rushed in to ask the price. Before giving me my answer, the shop owner explained how it had been hand built and painted by an “old man”—130 euro, she said. It was cute, but I’d seen the best of them new for less than that. I began to look at the winter wear section and noticed the used baby coats were running around 60 euro. The shop did claim to have designer wear and I’m not unwilling to pay for quality, but when it comes to second hand items, I want a bargain. Kelly had the same reaction. We all turned our buggies around and headed for the coffee house.


With our drinks to go, I stopped by the Turkish store with Kelly so she could get a Halloween pumpkin for carving. Her husband, Aaron, had just phoned and was going to swing by where we were to pick up Kelly’s house keys—he had been out and about and had forgotten his. When she came out with the pumpkin, Aaron was waiting in his car across the street. I waited with the boys while she went to make the handover. Wilmersdorfer is a busy street, but pedestrian heavy and cramped. I’ve crossed this street in this exact spot many times without any issue. But after the handover, just as Kelly turned around to head back to where we were standing, a speeding Mercedes sedan came barreling down the street. It didn’t appear that Kelly noticed it coming. It was going way too fast for this section of the street and for there being a stopped car, as well. I yelled out, “Kelly, wait!” At that instant, she stopped in her tracks and the speeding car came to a screeching halt, within inches of my friend. The driver seemed annoyed, Kelly was embarrassed, and I think Aaron saw his life flash before him.

As Kelly and I walked back to our building, we were both shaken but slowly moved on to other topics of conversation, letting go of what had just happened. When Nicholas got home, the weather turned for the worse. I had thought that I’d maybe go out for a solo shopping trip this evening, but decided staying in, cuddling with my family, would be the best way to treat myself.

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