I took the kids on an epic pandemic spring break adventure today. We went to the mall. The one with the LEGO Store.
Are you underwhelmed? It doesn’t hold a candle to swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman, but it was a pretty big deal for us.
It was the first time in over a year we stepped foot inside a mall. It was the first time in over a year my kids had Auntie Annie’s pretzel nuggets from a mall kiosk. It was the first time in over a year we went on an escalator.
You guys. I haven’t been on an escalator in over a year.
On our way up, my 14-year-old said, “Do you remember the time I broke the escalator?”
“Where were we?” I asked and answered immediately with way too much enthusiasm. “Oh, I know! We were at the mall! In Massachusetts! With Grandma and Grandpa! In the food court!”
I was flooded with escalator memories. The time we took new-to-walking Dylan to a hotel and he was so obsessed with the escalator in the lobby that we couldn’t go inside the building. The terrifying time when barely school-aged Dylan hopped on the “down” escalator in the science museum alone when I was chasing his baby brother near the “up” escalator. The endless times I drove my cranky boys to Dillard’s to go up and down the escalator indefinitely to pass the time until dinner/bath/bedtime.
There have been countless reminders over the last year that our lives have been turned upside down. But the escalator at the mall today unraveled me.
I miss my family and friends, bars and restaurants, movie theaters, and vacations. I even miss middle school band concerts! But what I truly long for is the most basic life experiences that spark memories and connect the dots of life. I didn’t realize it until today, but I miss the things that move me.
I wasn’t at all ready for the wave of feelings and memories that bubbled up on the escalator at the mall. Re-entry into a post-quarantine world is going to be intense. I’m mentally preparing myself now for the moving walkway at the airport.