When I arrived at Chris’ mother’s house, I found the maid setting the table for lunch, C.G playing with some building blocks on the living room floor, and Chris’ mother reading the Bible in her favourite seat.
While the maid paused the table setting to courteously greet me and C.G jumped up and into my arms with unrestrained delight, Chris’ mother made no effort to disguise her shock and displeasure at my arrival. Putting the Bible aside, she quickly got to her feet.
“Stephanie! What are you doing here? We weren’t expecting you!” she said accusingly.
“I know; I found myself with some free time; so, I decided to come and take C.G out for the day,” I explained, secretly enjoying the sight of her expression metamorphing into complete horror at my words.
“What! Does Chris know about this? I don’t think he’ll accept that,” she protested.
“I don’t need Chris’ permission to take out my son,” I answered firmly, keeping a tight hold on C.G. I bent to pick up his shoes which were thankfully in their usual spot by the door.
“But he hasn’t even eaten yet; let him at least have lunch first,” she floundered desperately.
I knew she was simply looking for a way to delay us so that she could call and notify Chris, and I was not about to fall for it.
“I’ll get him something to eat while we’re out; the cab is waiting for us, and I don’t want him to charge us a waiting fee,” I explained, my hand already on the door.
“But Chris really won’t like this; what on earth will I tell him?” she continued to object.
“If you have to tell him anything, just tell him the truth; that I’ve taken C.G out for the day and I’ll bring him back this evening,” I answered and then with a cheery farewell, headed out the door and back to the waiting car.
Since C.G had not eaten yet, I made our first stop a KFC outlet. Although it hardly offered a healthy menu for a growing child, C.G’s obvious enjoyment of his kiddy meal made it the perfect meal in my books.
With his belly full, we headed to a mall near the waterpark so I could pick up some swimming trunks for him, and once that was done, we were finally ready to hit the water. Fully aware that Chris’ mother would call her son the minute we were out the door, I turned off my phone once we got into the car, so that nothing and no one could interrupt my time with my son.
At the waterpark, I felt like a child again as we played and splashed about in the water, squealing as we came down the slides or had water poured over our heads from giant swinging buckets.
By the time the sun began to set, and the park began to shut down for the day, we were both exhausted, but happier than either one of us had been in a long time. I wanted to cling to the moment and stay in this space, and felt my heart sink at the realization that our time together was drawing to a close.
Time had flown by so fast and we had not even gone shopping for toys and clothes for him as I had planned to do. Although there was a mall with both just next door, I knew we were both too worn out to attempt that, and that is when I was suddenly struck by a rebellious thought; who said I had to take C.G back tonight?
What if he spent the night with me and we went shopping in the morning instead? Would the world end if my son did not return to his grandmother tonight?
Yes, both Chris and his mother would no doubt throw a fit, but Chris was probably already doing that anyhow; so, I might as well milk the moment for all it was worth, especially since after today, it would probably be impossible for me to pull off a similar feat again anytime soon.
I would notify Chris’ mother about the change in plans, and let her know that I would be returning C.G tomorrow afternoon instead.