We walked to our local bakery for cocoa this morning, bulldozing the slush with our snow boots and avoiding the eves to keep cold drips off the back of our necks. I was annoyed if you want the truth. Full-size rear wheel drive vans suck in the snow and I suck at being housebound with my four beloved children, who SUCK at playing nicely and not being annoying. And yes I do know that is the exact opposite of the sentiment every other human being on the internet is espousing.
You are hugging your kids tighter and I’m all, “stop whining, you suck when you whine.”
Inside my head. Relax.
So we walked to get cocoa. My friend Amy brought her two kids over to walk with us, which saved me from myself, as connection and friendship often do. She rolled her eyes at me over her son’s head and yanked her pastry out of her daughter’s hand, generally reaffirming my faith in the fact that the basis of any solid relationship is shared humor.
The kids worked hard at chapping their lips and rosying their cheeks, which was cute, even if they did gradually strip off the layers the donning of which took me a solid half an hour.
Southern dwellers have no idea of the art involved in achieving a well secured mitten. It must be put on first, before the coat, and then threaded through the sleeve with care, fastening the Velcro snow barrier tightly around the wrist over the mitten, but not too tightly, lest there be discomfort and then whining and then mitten removal. It pains my heart, pains my heart I tell you, to see a well secured mitten heedlessly removed to allow for better snow scooping.
“Do you want anything?” I asked Amy in the very long line at the counter. Puff pastries and quiches filled the glass case before us. Our six imps wound through the maze of tables, steaming from the top of their heads as they dried and knocking people’s coats to the floor from the back of their chairs.
“No. The cocoa is terrible here.”
I laughed out loud. The cocoa is terrible. It’s an adorable little bakery tucked into our neighborhood in an old general store. Its walls are the perfect cozy dark red. Its chalkboard is checkered with chalk calligraphy and sweet little pictures. It’s always packed with happy, chatting people and it’s awful. The food is awful, the coffee is awful and the cocoa is awful. It stays in business on charm and location alone.
We settled into couches situated around a lovely low coffee table. A perfect set up for a long, delicious conversation that we could not have over our over excited menagerie. They tackled the cups of hot chocolate topped with whip cream and sprinkles like the serious business that it is.
Very. serious. business.
I found the joy in the chaos. Of course I did. As Jessica so beautifully wrote, “the silence of loss makes the noise of life music to my ears.”
Yesterday, we made snowflakes for the children at Sandy Hook Elementary even though it’s such a small thing to do.