So a few months back my mom said to me, “Why don’t you make an appointment to go to a salon or a spa and have the works done. I’ll pay. Moms need to do this kind of stuff.” I think she meant it both ways…young moms (this is when Sean would chime in: You’re not that young…so help me marrying a younger guy has its challenges- it’s like 33 months,but he loves to treat it like more.) Ok, by young I mean the moms that have toddlers in relation to the moms that have adult children. Anyway, I think she meant I need to do this kind of stuff from time to time and she needs to get to be the one to treat me to it.

Anyway, that was about four months ago. She brings it up from time to time and the memory of the offer floats through my head every so often. Honestly, I think I enjoy the promise of the offer most. If I leave it out there as something I could do, then it is always there, a big, puffy cloud of hope. No disappointment, no end, just a happy, decadent promise.

Tonight I was sitting in our car. Briar was dozing in the back seat. Avery was in asleep my arms nursing. It was dark out. Street lights festooned with wreaths an red velvet ribbon were casting shadows along the sidewalk. The brightly decorated storefronts dappled the wet pavement with red and green light. I was lost in the music, the shoppers buzzed in and out of the stores rhythmically, and my eyes rested making the dashboard a golden blur. Avery shifted and I turned to look out the window. A woman was walking down the street and she caught my eye.

The coat she was wearing looked like something I’d choose if money were no object and my objective was to look casual, stylish, athletic, important and polished…The reality of my life these days is more of a choose one rather than select all that apply approach to style. In addition to the coat she had on great jeans. The kind of jeans I read about and dream of trying on, but could NEVER bring myself to pay full price for. They looked great…why can’t Levi’s or somebody figure out the formula and do it for $50 bucks. I won’t be able to pay $180 for jeans until I’m 50 and then I won’t want to wear them damnit. With these fantastic jeans she had her hair pulled back in a pony tail. It screamed: Yes, let’s just pull this back like so, it will be so much easier to go from Pilates and straight to the salon with it like this. Which is exactly what she did. Ok, maybe not the Pilates part, but she did take her Razr and walk right into the Aveda Salon with an ease that made it clear she’d done this before. I didn’t see the ladies inside jump up to fawn over her and greet her with squeals and energetic offers of fresh magazines and anything she might like to drink, but I am pretty sure it was something along those lines. I’m really not bitter. A little envious? Ya, you bet.

But then I think about the promise of a trip to the salon. Having anything I want done and not worrying about the cost. My little expiration-free salon offer is all I need to chase the any envy away. And actually as I sit and think about who I am and what I must look like to the folks walking by- Calm and happy, my beautiful Avery with her velvety little hand on my chest as she nurses, her dark, silky hair feathering against her forehead and my chest, and Briar gently stretching as she slowly wakes from her nap, and then there is Sean walking to the car smiling and silently mouthing, “My girls.” It feels pretty enviable.