First Outing With All Three Alone


Several weeks ago I decided I really, really, really wanted a cookie-dough Blast from Bruster’s. And, I thought, Sophie deserved a scoop of chocolate ice cream. But I was by myself, in the mini van, with all three kids, returning from a trip up north to visit family.

I decided there was no way I could handle two carriers, Sophie and ice cream (I didn’t have the double stroller with me), so I drove through Bruster’s drive-thru and ordered the two ice-cream treats. Then I parked. I took both boys out of the van, but left them in their car seats, and set the carriers on top of one of Bruster’s outdoor tables. And then Sophie and I sat on the benches, and ate.

I felt so bold. So brave. So free. It seems so minor—ice cream. But the incident-free event made me think I could take all three children to the park, out to lunch, to the library—maybe even the zoo.

I remember feeling this way the first time I took Sophie somewhere, by myself. It was similar to the first time I drove somewhere by myself. The first time I rode a school bus by myself. The first time I spent the night at a friend’s house by myself.

The I-can-do-this, or, perhaps, more accurately, the I-did-this feeling is one of life’s best. Age never diminishes it and I never tire of it.


“I had always thought that once you grew up you could do anything you wanted—stay up all night or eat ice-cream straight out of the container.” —Bill Bryson