One of the benefits of living in our community is access to the most delicious treats-less than a quarter of a mile away. Sweet Sinsations is a bakery that my kids and I affectionately call, “the donut shop”. Since we have discovered this tasty palace of desserts, we have been hooked and keep on coming back for more. I make weekly, and occasionally bi-weekly trips to the donut shop, picking up dozens for work meetings, Saturday morning breakfast. I also use a trip to the donut shop as an incentive to get my two kids up and out of bed on time.
We’ve been fairly frequent customers for the past 5 years. My family is pretty memorable and the staff has got to know us. There isn’t a lot of conversation, just a friendly exchange of pleasantries and then the best part- placing our order. They are always busy but manage to move people in and out with great efficiency. The staff always seems happy to see me rolling through the front door with my tiny entourage in tow and we’re even happier to be there.
It was a Friday, and my daughter Hannah was getting off the bus at her afterschool childcare center. It was my daddy duty that day to pick her up. I recently had been having some shoulder pain and wasn’t in tip top form. I decided not to load my wheelchair in my Mini Cooper and instead left it in the garage. When I saw Hannah come off the bus, she was waving at me and smiling. She’s always so happy that it is Friday, and she gets to head home a little earlier than other days. With all of her energy, she jumped in the Mini Cooper to head back to the house. When she got buckled up in her booster seat, she quickly reminded me that I had promised her a trip to the donut shop for getting up and out of bed so quickly that morning. Forgetting completely that I had made this promise, I said “Hannah, Daddy left his wheelchair at home. We can either go home and get it, or if you think you can go in the donut shop yourself, I’ll send you in with some money.” She thought about it for a second. I could read her face as her wheels were turning. It didn’t take long and she replied, “I’ll go in!”
We pulled up to the donut shop and I parked directly in front of the building, so I could keep a visual on my Hannah. Before her donut adventure. I gave her instructions. I told her, “I’ll be right here waiting for you.” Handing her a ten dollar bill, I said, “You can get two donuts and a drink, but I get the change.” She agreed, and made her way to the door. While observing her from the car, she did everything we always do. She picked out her drink first, stood on her tip toes to request her favorites- a tiger tail and a chocolate sprinkled donut-paid for her treats, and headed back to the car.
When she pushed through the front door, she was beaming with pride. She had just had her first taste of being a little adult, and she loved it. She climbed in the car and I had her count the change she received back. Now we could claim we did some math homework! Later that evening, she was telling her mom all about it. In full drama she said “Mom, it was real life, with real money… not like when you send me with money to the book fair… it was real life!” Giving her that independence, in a familiar environment, with daddy watching from a distance, made her feel like she was capable of anything and was ready to tackle the world. I know that feeling and it’s one I always hope she will have. She’s only six, so we will have to pump the brakes a little bit, but it was great to be able to see my daughter be so brave and independent.