There was a time in my early twenties when I became acutely aware of the fact that we only get to lead one life at a time. Maybe it sounds unreasonable to you, but this was a hard fact for me to accept. I'd learned all about opportunity cost in that required semester of high school Economics, but the concept didn't really hit home for me until I had some life experience under my belt. For a while, I became sort of fixated on the wish that I could go back to certain phases of my life simply by going back to the places where I had spent my time. If I went to my old apartment on Madison, I would find people and things just as they had been when I lived there. You get the idea. Imagining that possibility, and having to admit its impossibility, was a way for me to reconcile myself to the cruel reality that time travels only in one direction.
But sometimes, when we are patient, life will indulge our little whims. This past weekend, I got an opportunity to revisit a part of my life that ended about three years ago. For those of you who don't know, I used to own a little store called Mothersville, which is now owned by my friends Andria and Melissa . The store is located just where the Cooper-Young Festival begins, and for various reasons that are better heard from the ladies themselves, they needed a little help this year. Now, I feel compelled to admit here that I am not one of those people who loves to offer up my time to every cause and person that requests it, mostly because I'm just lazy and I like to have a lot of time to sit around my house in my comfy pants and no bra. However, in this case I willingly volunteered to pitch in. I asked my parents to watch the kids, and I went to work at my old store, and did what I used to do six days a week for a little over two years.
When I got to the store, I warned Melissa that it would be hard for me not to dominate the floor, and that she should feel free to rein me in as needed. She told me to stop talking crazy and get out there and sell stuff. So that's what I did. It was fun to be back there demonstrating sling-wearing techniques and explaining how cloth diapers work. For a few hours, it really was like my little fantasy of being able to walk into a place from my past and find everything there waiting for me, just like old times. I even saw several of my old regulars, who stopped by to say hello. But of course, the babies who were waiting to be born then are preschoolers now, and there were lots of new faces and new babies to meet. I really enjoyed myself, and I'm grateful that I was able to be back there, if only for a little while.