Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with Tyson, just the two of us, which hasn’t happened for quite some time. Darin and Jori were in Pretoria; she was going to a sleepover birthday party and Darin had some errands to do in town.
Tyson and I started out with a stop at the library. We had some books to return and were hoping to find a book on how to care for a parakeet. We found books on caring for koi, rats, guinea pigs and puppies, but nothing on birds. Tyson did however manage to choose ten books that he wanted to check out, books on dangerous animals, African games, reptiles, rainforests and more. His eclectic reading tastes remind me of my brother Danny who used to pore over our set of blue encyclopedias with a good deal of wonder.
After the library we headed to Jubilee mall. Our first stop was McDonalds for an ice cream cone. I handed over R10 (about a dollar) to my 9 year old and he went in and bought our treats on his own. A plain cone for me and a “flake” cone for him. I love that he can figure out prices and add things up to make sure he has enough money for his purchases.
We ate our cones while we browsed through a few shops. Tyson was on the hunt for two items – a pretty dish for Amo’s mom and spinning tops for him and Fetsi. Our first stop was Pep Home, where we saw some promising plates. We left without buying anything and headed to Spar to see if they had any tops. They didn’t, but told us to check at Game, which was another dead end. The man at Game told us to check at one of the Chinese shops that usually sell a little bit of everything. We went to two such shops in the mall and at the second they told us to check out Nizams. We headed out of the mall and over to Nizams. The people there told us to look at Game. Poor Tyson was feeling pretty disappointed as he really, really wanted a top! I told him we’d check at the Renbro Spar when we got groceries, but first we needed to head back into the mall to do some back to school shopping.
Our first stop was Woolworths, but we didn’t last there very long. It was so hot and stuffy in the store that neither of could stand being in there. We skipped over Pep as the line looked a bit too long and headed to Jet. It was a bit less stuffy in Jet, but still hot enough that I didn’t want to be in there long. Tyson was mostly set for school clothes, but he did need a new pair of shoes. There were 4 “levels” of shoe quality; Jet brand, Class Act, Toughees and then the R250 kind, which I didn’t really look at as I didn’t really want to spend $25 on shoes for a child whose feet will probably go up a size in the next 3 months. There was an overstock of size 6 shoes in every brand, but after we dug around for a while we found some 3’s and 4’s. I had remembered to bring a pair of socks and after trying on a few pairs, we settled on size 3 Class Acts.
We took our shoes, grabbed a two pack of socks and then headed back into the uniform section to get a few things for Jori. She had a bit of a growth spurt over the last 18 months and needed some new shirts and skirts. Tyson helped me find the sizes that we needed and then we headed to the check out. The line was long and it was much hotter at the back of the store. Tyson still needed to buy a dish and watching the sweat roll of his face led to my decision to send him back to Pep Home on his own. I gave him R30 and told him to come right back when he was done. I will admit to feeling a little anxious while I waited, but seeing the big grin on his face when he came back made my anxious moments well worth it. He showed me the plate he picked out and then sheepishly pulled out a package of candy that he had also picked up. He bought it to share on the drive home J
We left Jubilee and headed to Spar for groceries, Tyson still hoping to find a top there! Unfortunately, Spar did not have any tops, but the lady at the checkout told him to try Buy Rite, which is in the same parking lot as Spar. We loaded the groceries in the car, headed to Buy Rite and thankfully our efforts were not in vain! Tyson used his top money from Grandma Karen and bought 2 tops for R2.50 each and 2 strings for a rand each (that’s about 70 cents total).
Our shopping adventures were over. We got in the car and headed home. I cannot even tell you how many times during the day I heard things like “Isn’t this fun” and “I’m glad we are here together, mama”. I think Tyson and I both needed a day together to just have a bit of fun. When you are raising a child whose behavior frustrates and confuses you on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, having a whole afternoon without any issues cropping up is such a gift.
Lord, help me to hold tightly to the joy of a day spent with my son. Guide me as I seek to understand this precious boy. Mold him into the young man You desire him to be. I thank You that You aren’t finished with either of us yet!