Things I’ve Never Told You

photo share

On Thursdays or Fridays, I like to take myself out to lunch.

Yesterday was a perfect cup of butternut squash soup, and a perfect green salad with a citrus vinaigrette. There’s this little coffee shop, bakery, pizzeria, breakfast joint about 10 minutes away through the woods, and it looks like a little storybook house. In a village with a thatched roof and pizza smoke blowing out the top of the building. I hesitate sometimes to post about it on Facebook because people will think I’m bragging. The truth is, I have a least favorite part of the northeast, and it’s that odd place where NJ, CT, and NYC meet. It’s good if you like brake lights and car exhaust, but I prefer twinkly fairy lights and pizza exhaust. That’s just me, though. I thought of it today because I thought about how Thursday lunches began.

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Des only had daycare and then preschool three times a week, leaving Thursdays and Fridays open. We used to go out to lunch. I’m not sure he ever appreciated it the way I did, or so I thought then, but I really pulled out the stops. We’d go to an airport cafe near Cassidy’s work to watch airplanes arrive and depart. We’d go to mill river cafes and eat sausage and cheese boards while watching the raging water. Sometimes it was diner french fries or clam chowder in bread bowls. Whatever it was, it was ours. There’s a romance of a Thursday and Friday lunch. He’s older now, but oh how the child is still there. It’s the way he waves out at me from the bus windows and hugs me fiercely in the school lines. Don’t go changing.

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I think a lot about life before this – these two kids in elementary school with after school programs, school bus schedules, and homework. The baby/toddler time is contained. It’s safe and padded. Story time mornings. Nap time afternoons. Routines and structures and lunches, in the face of what could be chaos. No school. No daycare. I am so glad I had those five years with each of them, overlapping and intertwined. It was both chaotic and structured. It was both easy and hard for me.

Whatever it was, it was ours.

And to think about going back to that is both the easiest and hardest thought. Five more years, with nearly ten years gone; moving on. Who would I be? Who would they be? How would it be? Whatever it would be, you know it would involve lunches.

photo share

For all the ways I’m diligent and in control, there are just as many ways I’m out of control. That’s sort of my thing. I make a point to having nothing out of control, when meanwhile it’s all creeping up and out until it’s unbearable. The thing is, this world is a little too crazy and too full of whim and whimsy and chaos and the unexpected to have all your ducks in a row. All your balls to the wall. The sooner you embrace that and own it, I suppose the happier you’ll be. That’s why I work at such strange paces – either full speed ahead, or snail’s pace. There are things that take me way too long for weird reasons.

photo share

I used to keep unedited photos for a rainy day, or just the soothing aspect of them. I’d stockpile them for sleepless nights – which rarely happen – but just to have some warm glow and to sit and work on all the details of the things I CAN control. It’s sort of like when you have a great book to read, but you can’t read it yet. Or maybe an ice cream pint waiting in the freezer for its next indulgence. The photos were/are like that. Except that more time passed. Soon, three months became six months became one year and became what is now 2.5 years behind. I edit my client and blog photos, and the best few of any set, but the bulk just grows. And how much longer can I really let them sit like that in outer space? Growing and stale.

Not to be morbid, but what if something happens to me and they’re never seen? I am about eight months behind on replying to blog comments, which explains why you occasionally get a random reply from me that no longer makes sense. 2.5 years of photos! I’m looking now to close that gap, and I’m starting today. Photo Share Friday, indeed. Here is a perfect day I had with then three-year-old Des. It might have been before lunch. It might have been after lunch. Whatever it was, it was ours.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is Photo Share Friday and there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE. What’s your photo? What’s its story?

What would you share?

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer, a mama of two, a Lifestyle Blogger/Social Media Influencer/Brand Ambassador, and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns, the Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.


Things I’ve Never Told You — 19 Comments

  1. OMG could you have captured his flying jumping hair any better? In any of these? I think not. I always try to get these mid-air photos but usually fail. Also, here’s to lunches past and present and future. May they be yours together when you need that, and yours alone when that’s better.

  2. Aw, love and still remember you doing these lunch dates with Des. Cannot believe he is in school full-time now. Where does the time go? That said, during the summer the girls and I’d meet Kevin for lunch on Fridays. It was a nice way to end the week. Now that the girls are back in school, Kevin and I have still been meeting sans kids when we can on Fridays. So couldn’t agree more about Fridsyblunch dates now more than ever!! 😉

  3. I remember that shift from the toddler/preschool schedule to the elementary schedule. It is very different. When my kids were little, kindergarten only went until 1:30 (it is full day now.) I loved having that time with my younger girl – just to focus on her – before her sister came home and we hopped in the car to head out to activities. The days are long when the children are small. I volunteer with MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) and each time we meet I am reminded of how exhausting it can be. It is a privilege to be able to look back later with fond memories. Love the “air in the hair” in these photos.

  4. These pictures are perfection. Thursday lunch sounds magical.
    And, you, my sweet friend who I have missed (my fault completely), you just don’t even know how much we have in common!! I come here and it’s like coming home.

  5. Great photos! You did take away the magic that I imagine in your surroundings with the exhaust and brake lights. Yuck. I don’t mind if if you brag and I wouldn’t call it bragging at all. You know how you read a book at get lost in the scenery, that’s how I am when I read your posts. So you don’t have to mention exhaust and brake lights every again. LOL! Unless you just want to, but that won’t be fun at all.

  6. A truly heartwarming story Tamara, and l love the pics! Looking at Des jumping for joy reminds me when l would jump up and down on our Castro Convertible to either get attention, or because I just couldn’t sit still. What a beautiful line, “Whatever it was, it was ours.” That’s all that matters!

  7. Love, love, love the photos! I miss my Thursday early dinners, just me and my son. I don’t know when or why that stopped but life and activities got on the way.

  8. If it makes you feel any better, I’m about 2 1/2 years behind on digitally filing my photos – and 5 year’s behind on alums!!!!!!!! It’s overwhelming when I let me self think about it.

  9. I love these pictures of Des! What a cutie. Also, I need to learn how to take better pictures like yours. I try to do those action shots and always get a blur. I’m obsessed with how beautiful these are.

  10. Love love LOVE this so much, Tamara. Gosh, your words just always spark my soul. Truly! I LOVE that you take yourself to lunch at the precious place and I wish I had one like that nearby too. I LOVE that you took out valuable time to spend with Des for all those lunches- he will NEVER forget them- even if they are absorbed in his subconscious. They are his, they are yours, forever. I love the pictures! I am behind on EVERYTHING. I keep telling myself that in six years, I’ll have all the time in the world. ONLY SIX and my kids will be gone. (Well, I’m hoping *with heartache at the thought* anyway!)

    Right now, it’s us doing the best we can to prioritize, and let go… There’s literally only so much time in a day. I find I run out of it OVER and OVER again.

  11. Lunch dates with littles are the best. My litllest-little is home in the mornings with om kindergarten and I kind of treasure that time for her and I to watch cartoons in fuzzy socks and jammies until we have to finally start thinking about getting dressed.

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