An hour later, they found a hotel several exits down the road from the children’s home. Kate went in first and got a room for her and Sarah and then Spencer went in to get his. They got settled in their rooms on the same floor, but not next to each other. Then they decided where to eat dinner.
They settled on a Cracker Barrel nearby when Kate asked Sarah if she liked pancakes and got a yes. “Okay, pancakes it is.” Pancakes weren’t exactly the healthiest thing on the planet, but Kate was already caving in to comfort food after a stressful few days.
They settled at their table, with Sarah in a wooden high chair and ordered their meals. Spencer said a quick prayer and Kate peeked at Sarah, who didn’t close her eyes. The poor thing was probably bewildered. Kate thought about how to broach the subject of their meals for the rest of the journey and what music to listen to. Kate didn’t bring any of her children’s CDs or listening books with her. She thought she would start using them at home.
Spencer asked her, “Are you ok? You look like you’re arguing with yourself in your head.”
“What does that look like?” Kate was curious to know. She looked over at Sarah who was playing with the pegs and wooden board on the table. She put them in order of color-the white ones first, then the blue and finally the two orange pegs.
Kate turned to Spencer who sat across from her. “Well…you’re moving your hands one at a time like your weighing your options, and you’re scrunching up your forehead…”
“You’re rather observant.”
Spencer lifted an eyebrow as if to say, what’s new?
Their food came and Kate took time to cut up Sarah’s pancake and scrambled eggs for her. She wasn’t sure she could feed herself, but Sarah picked up her spoon and dug in. Kate had found a bib in the diaper bag, now hanging from Sarah’s chair.
While Kate cut up her own chicken fried steak, she told Spencer what she’d been thinking about. “Since you brought it up…I’m thinking about what type of music to listen to in the car on the way home. Country music is not exactly…educational. And-“
“I think we need to eat better than McDonald’s or Arby’s on the way home. Sarah needs to eat from the five major food-”
“Whoa, Kate. Slow down.” Spencer put down his fork and took a deep breath. “I know you want the best for Sarah, and you want her to be healthy and happy. I get that. But don’t get hung up on the details. Don’t get worked up over small things that don’t matter in the long run.”
Kate stared at Spencer. “What do you mean not get hung up on the details? These ‘details’ matter to a child’s growth and development.” Kate put her own fork down and curled her fingers on the word details before continuing. “I’ve done a lot of reading and there’s lots of chemicals and garbage in food today. Did you know that most cereals contain colored dyes that cause ADD and ADHD and other problems?” She took a sip of water.
Spencer took the opportunity to ask, “Do you know how adorable you look when you get worked up about something?”
Kate almost choked on her water. She glared at Spencer, at a loss for words. Before she could say anything, Spencer put a hand on her arm and gestured toward Sarah with his eyes.
Looking over at Sarah, Kate saw what Spencer noticed. Sarah was drooping and getting sleepy. “Poor thing. I guess we can discuss the ‘details’ later.” They quickly finished eating and drove back to the hotel.
In their room, Kate fished out some pajamas with fairies on them for Sarah and put her down in the big bed they would share. She hoped she didn’t roll off. Kate didn’t see a toothbrush or toothpaste for her, so she would have to remedy that soon. She wanted to start Sarah with good habits right away.
Kate tried reading her book on the bed next to Sarah but kept thinking about what Spencer said at dinner and wondered if he was right. Was she too worried about technical things and not about the big picture? Maybe it was better to love Sarah the best way possible, and not worry about the little things.
Then she thought about his silly comment about her looking adorable. Really? What was that about? When she first heard Spencer say that, it made her mad. But now upon further consideration, his observation caused a funny fluttering in her middle. What did that mean?
Kate went to bed, her mind whirring in all directions. She’d worry about it tomorrow.
Until next time,