I'm a people watcher.
I'm sitting at Starbucks as I type, watching people. I noticed a young couple walk in.... Undoubtably, not big coffee drinkers. How do I know? The girl is timid as she searches the menu... Asking her boyfriend about a caramel latte. He gives her the "ok" and they both order the latte. They nervously wait in line to receive their drink... Her hands clasped chest high... Insecurity. He is hovering very close to her. Almost too close for comfort in a public setting. Once they receive their caramel lattes, they sip... Look at each other... Reassurance. And then they leave. There's the usual... An older man, his black coffee, his newspaper, sitting in his usual seat. They know him by name, they know his drink. I somewhat envy his morning routine. There is always the extremely bubbly girl that flies in, orders too loud, talks to everyone, whether they want to or not. You can count on the post gym coffee drinkers... Or maybe they didn't actually go to the gym, maybe they just enjoy dressing like Sporty Spice... Which, shamefully, is how I am currently dressed.
As I sit, I think about the person I might be when I am older. I imagine Charlie to be retired and we'll sit together drinking our post morning exercise (a joke) coffee at the local coffee shop where they will know us by name and drink.
I see an older me... myself in my old age - I laugh heartily at the thought. There I am, going to the local mall to sit and watch people... Maybe I'll wear my tennis shoes and take a stroll for good measure, but without a doubt, I'll sit with a cup of coffee and watch people. I'll watch the teenagers slip in and out of stores with their moms, or BFF's, looking for that perfect shirt, or dress, or that *just right* pair of shoes that will boost their confidence level or make a bad day better. I'll notice the couples younger than me, holding hands as they stroll. I might have a taco from the Bandito as I take a gander at the list of new movies playing. I'll take a long hard look at the people sitting alone eating their lunch and wonder if they are on a lunch break or just needed to get out of the house for a bit.
As I think about an older me, I realize my 35th birthday is next Saturday. I chuckle to myself, or "CTM" as my brother says... He's trying to end the whole "LOL" phenom. I "CTM" because I used to think, "After age 35 I cannot have babies, because the babies will have Down Syndrome." Isn't it ironic? A little too ironic, don't ya think?
My thoughts now drift back to an older Charlie and I sitting at the local coffee shop. I realize there is a good chance Lennon will be there with us... Maybe she'll be the greeter, or the girl who takes away your saucer with an empty cup and dirty napkin. How sweet she would be... Her little mod-hipster glasses, smiling her usual smile... the one where she smiles with her whole body. Everyone will know her by name & she will hug and wave proudly at each person, welcoming them to the coffee shop. Charlie and I would sit proudly, look at each other, he'll take a sip of coffee, reach over and grasp my hand and give it a gentle squeeze and grin at me.
If that grin could talk it would say, "That's our girl... We're so lucky."
It's a new twist on my thoughts of Charlie and I in our old age.
I used to think it would make me sad, thinking of the possibilities that she would always be near... But now, I like the thought. It makes those ideas of the future warmer, cozier... Ad much, much sweeter.
So this morning as I type, as I people watch... A friend comes in. She is a new friend. She too has a son and a younger daughter with Down Syndrome. The chances of us crossing paths as becoming friends before Lennon were slim. Now, we're kindred spirits sharing a similar unexpected journey full of surprises and the unknown.
So after she leaves, I finish my thoughts.., I wonder if she and her husband will sit and have their morning routine with the old us and watch our daughters greet the world in only a way they can.
Maybe... just maybe Lennon will sit at the mall and people watch with her old cougar of a mom.
We never know what our journey is going to be like until we are on it. Yes, there will be bumps, and there will definitely be surprises. Some things do remain constant, like the fact that I will always be a people watcher. And I rather like the idea of looking to my right and seeing my little "toot-toot" people watching with me. She is a nice little smiley addition to my daydreams about the future.
As I look at her and take a sip of my coffee, I'll grin.... "That's my girl. I'm so lucky."