Stolen Time

“Hey, Mom. Guess what?”

“What, Piper?”

“I love you.”

Piper is a spontaneous lover.  She doles out “I love yous” like beads at Carnival. She interrupts me mid-sentence. Just as I’m ranting at everyone to grab their lunchbox don’t forget your coat did you wash your hands, I lean over to hurry up Piper who is sitting on the stairs pulling on her shoes and she whispers “I love you.” It slows me down. Just for a second. I kiss her cheek.  I sniff her a little.  It’s what mothers do.

This afternoon we stole an hour together and went to the library.  We had overdue books to return and more errands to run, but a welcome cancellation left us with a whole unscheduled hour. A luxury indeed.  Our public library is in the town center, an adorable cobble stoned space with shops, restaurants, and people. There is an outdoor ice skating rink and summer concerts.  It’s one of the reasons we wanted to live here. Actual live people out enjoying their community.  Who knew? The library is three stories with a glass bottomed spiral staircase.  The first thing Piper likes to do when we visit is slowly climb the entire staircase.  The she holds my hand and leads me through the reference area, shushing me with her finger to her lips.  I assure you I’m being quiet, but Piper knows the rules.  At the library she actually follows them.  After our trek up and down the stairs, we visit the children’s area, which is tucked away in a glass rotunda.  This afternoon we planted ourselves on bean bag chairs in a pool of sunlight.  Piper fetched books and I read and read.  She rewarded me with little “I love yous” between books.

Library

Piper can be a hot mess most days.  But she loves really hard and she tells me all the time.

Just as we were leaving the library, Piper asked again “Hey, Mom. Guess what?” I smiled and braced myself for another love reward.

“What, honey?”

“Let’s get donuts.”

Oh, well played, Piper.