School has started back and I’m beginning to settle into a more normal schedule for my new retirement. I take a shower and wash my hair on Thursday nights; lunch with Breezy comes every Friday. Breezy is particular about how her Gigi looks. She’s already mad at me for letting my gray begin to show, so I make sure I wear my hair down and straighten it for Friday’s lunch date. I want to look as young and fresh as I can! I don’t want to do anything that will get me uninvited.
It’s unlikely at this stage in life she’s going to uninvite me though. She told me I could come every day. When I said that was a bit too much, she altered it to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. So far, I’ve settled on Friday only.
Breezy is in 3rd grade now. I’m not sure just how many more years I’ll be welcome, so I’m going to take advantage of her invitations while I can. I see her come into the cafeteria and look around. I’m in the very back; she doesn’t see me. I think I see disappointment on her face as she turns to talk to her friend Payton.
She spots me waving to her. Her face brightens and she, Payton, and Elle, make their way down the aisle, marching past kids who are on their way back to class. Her friend Elle gets to me before she does and flops down beside me. Breezy insists that I move another chair next to me so she can sit there. Payton sits across from us.
I check out their lunches as they open up the boxes and bags and pull out the food their moms and dads have so carefully packed for them. Breezy sees a note from her mom and smiles. She takes it out, unfolds it, and reads it carefully. She smiles again and tucks it back to where it came. It has made her day a little brighter.
She looks up as the resource officer comes in the back door of the cafeteria. “Officer!” she calls. “Officer!” She waves at him as he looks over her way. He comes to a table next to ours and sits down with some 3rd grade boys. He turns back Breezy’s way and asks her if she’s wearing a purple shirt. It’s spirit day.
She unzips her jacket and proudly shows her shirt. It’s a purple Under Armour shirt with gold writing on it. I’ve never seen it before. The kid is a fashionista, for sure. Today, she’s a sporty one. She wears grey tight pants that hug her legs and end just below the knee. She calls them her “comfy pants.” She has a black knit jacket trimmed with pink and white. Her shoes are pink Nike’s with a dark blue swoosh. The outfit might not sound like it matches, but on Breezy it looks perfect in her easy, sporty way. She’s comfortable in her own skin and in the clothes she chooses to wear. The giant multi-colored sequenced bow on her pony tail pulls it all together.
The fact that she knows this resource officer makes me laugh inside. I’ve been working out at the same gym with this particular deputy sheriff for years and never met him. It figures Breezy would know him. She seems to know everyone in town. No matter where we take her, she sees someone she knows. And usually she manages to get a hug from them.
We finish up lunch with ice cream. I’ve got an appointment just after I leave here. I have to meet with the Geek Squad at Best Buy to learn to use the pen I bought with “my” new laptop. Breezy was with me when I purchased it; she picked out the laptop, purple-flowered mouse, and pen. She chose a laptop that folds into a tablet, because “I’ve always wanted one like that,” she told the salesman.
After my Geek Squad class I’ll do a few more errands in town, stop by the grocery store, and be on my way home. If Breezy is spending the night, I’ll be sure to pick out a few special goodies for her while I’m shopping for the weekend’s food. If not, I’ll skip some of the sweet treats. I’m supposed to be on a diet.
I’m settling down into retirement life. I told my husband the other day I’m glad I’m just a person without a title. I like being responsible only to the people I love, and those who love me back!
You know, my mom is 87; the women in our family live a long time. I can’t wait to see where this retirement life leads me. This gig could last 30 years or more. I can see why this could be the happiest and most fulfilling part of one’s life! Maybe youth is wasted on the young, after all.