Even before I was pregnant, I would imagine the places my child and I would go.
As the education reporter at a small daily newspaper in western Colorado, I attended a lot of events with kids.
I recall the teddy bear picnic where children brought their favorite bears to be "inspected" by a doctor, given tea on a picnic blanket, get their faces painted and more.
I remember water day at the local college, free swim day at the pool, trips to the humane society, class projects, little-kid ballet ...
Of course, my child would do all of that, at least once.
My favorite, though, was story time.
Simple. Free. Awesome.
So when I got pregnant, I checked the library's schedule for evening or weekend story times. I desperately wanted to be able to do things like that with my child. Things that I remembered doing with my own mom.
I can't remember now if Grand Junction had a weekend or evening story time, but we moved when Rye was only 2 1/2 months old anyway.
And I went back to work.
Though I know he's gaining valuable social skills in daycare and is learning about the many roles women can have by watching me go to work each morning, I still am sad about the loss of story time.
So today we went. (I am on vacation through tomorrow, playing stay-at-home mom and LOVING it).
We heard three stories read by a wonderful librarian named Mary. Each book was about chickens, and each story was followed by a song and a dance.
Rye looked between me and the books, a smile on his face, just about the entire time. He laughed at the funny parts, gasped at the surprising parts and clapped his hands and spun around when he was encouraged to.
He clutched Star Wars action figures his friend had brought to share (in Rye's mind at the moment, there is nothing better), putting them down when he had to, so he could properly clap.
Even at the end, when we went out to look for books and Rye said to his friend, "Let's fight!" (with the action figures) and later, "Did you bring R2D2?" I couldn't have been happier.
Story time doesn't get much better.
Follow it up with a picnic lunch at a park on a sunny, 70-degree day and it's pretty near perfect.