"Self? Get a grip already, will you?"
Last night on the way home from work I popped into Petco. Breakfast had emptied our dog food bin which would just not do. Would not do at all. Our puppers expect to eat twice a day. They count on it. Deserve it. Good dogs they are.
I pulled into a parking spot and a bright yellow VW bug whipped in to the open spot next to me. A blonde girl got out and entered the store.
The girl looked familiar. More specifically, the car and the girl together looked familiar. I was pretty sure it was one of The Boy's friends from high school. I wondered about this particular girl being at home this particular time of year. I couldn't remember where she'd gone away to school but I knew she'd gone away.
I hefted the 40 pound bag of dog chow into my cart then checked the price on the canned cat food (too pricy, I was hoping for a sale). Somehow several bags of dog treats of various types ended up in my cart. I don't know how that happens. But it does. Good dogs they are.
The familiar girl got in line behind me. She had both arms wrapped around a large bale of hamster bedding. I turned to look at her. I knew if I didn't say something I would kick myself later. So I did. I said "Is your name L**?"
She smiled and nodded, as if she had been expecting me to speak. "You are *insert The Boy's name here*'s mom, aren't you?"
My turn to smile and nod.
We exchanged pleasantries. She asked about The Boy. I asked about her. She said she was home from college this semester because her mother is sick. Yikes. I said appropriate things. I promised to say hello to The Boy for her this weekend when we see him. (Yes yes! Road trip ahead! But that's another story.) We said goodbye.
I left feeling disconcerted.
See, it's been a long time since anyone has referred to me that way. As The Boy's mom. And it used to be such a huge part of my identity.
That's when I said "Self? Get a grip already, will you?"
Because that was then, this is now.
And it's all good.