Kate drove to the mall glad for a few hours by herself. Decorations hung from street lights throughout the area, different themes for the various towns on her route. The mall was also decked out, with huge displays inside, including a Santa for parents to get pictures with their kids while sharing what they wanted for Christmas, if they weren’t too shy. Kate stood watching a few minutes, thinking the parents were more embarrassing than the kids.
She wandered to the children’s store where she looked for a couple outfits and new winter pajamas for Sarah. The soft pink pajamas were decorated with white snowflakes. She tried to figure out what was appropriate to get Spencer. Should she get him cologne? Dress shirts? Music CDs? She sat at the Starbucks with her cocoa debating with herself. Then she considered a computer or video game—after all he still had a playful side. And he had the equipment at his place to play them.
She decided to buy him a gift card to the video game store and some cologne. She had fun sniffing the different scents at the department store. She settled on one she liked and hoped he did as well.
She bought Mrs. Pettigrew a cardigan to wear to church, as she noticed the one she sometimes wore was missing a button and had a hole in one elbow. And she bought her a new soft blanket for the living room sofa she thought she would like. Then she went into the toy store and bought some tray puzzles for Sarah and in the book store, some new Clifford and Little Critter books. Satisfied, she took her purchases home to wrap after Sarah went to bed.
“Thanks Spencer, it helped a lot,” she told him when she returned happy but tired. She left the bags in the trunk so Sarah wouldn’t see them.
“You’re welcome. We had fun, didn’t we?” He looked down at Sarah.
The sleepy girl, nodded. She was bathed and ready for bed. “We played horsey and played ball with Buttons.”
“Sounds like a good time was had by all.” She gave Spencer a look that said, glad it was you and not me on the floor. Spencer shrugged and gave her his typical childish smile.
“I better go,” he said heading to the door. “See you later, Sarah, okay?” He gave her a hug goodnight. He turned to Kate and they exchanged a good night kiss. “See you tomorrow,” and he was out the door.
After she put Sarah to bed Kate ran to the car and brought up her packages. Earlier in the week after work she had purchased wrapping paper, bows and several rolls of tape from the BX. She had everything she needed to make the presents pretty. She carried the wrapping stuff upstairs with the gifts.
She wrapped the ones for Sarah first so she could hide them up in the closet. She liked the blue paper with a snowmen theme. Her other designed paper was white with poinsettia on it and she used it to wrap one gift each for Spencer and Mrs. P before calling it a night. She was tired from working and shopping and wanted to relax before going to bed.
The next afternoon Spencer would help them pick a small tree.
Earlier in the evening when Spencer first arrived, Kate mentioned the offer to go up to Minnesota for a few days so Sarah could see her uncle and grandparents. “Wow, that makes a tight schedule,” Spencer said.
“I know. I’m not sure I’m up to all that stress with a two-year-old bundle.” Sarah was finishing her dinner at the table while the two of them chatted in the entryway. Kate already had her coat on.
“That definitely sounds adventurous.”
“Yeah, something like that.” She buttoned her coat and said, “I’ll see you later.”
Until next time,