Today, after a rain-beating night of trick-or-treating, my children and I shared a warming morning together. We went for breakfast at a creative local cafe, then stopped at the fishmonger for dinner ingredients, and ended up at Costco.

Yes, I am one of those.

Soccer mom, suburban wife, Costco executive member. Seriously.

I know you might expect more of me, but I have to say, we had a fantastic time. I don’t shop at Costco that often; most of the time, when we need toilet paper or tissues, Dan jets off by himself to get the necessities. This time was different.

It was different because it became our playground, as Eliana said. We strolled up and down aisles, discovering things, oohing and ahhing and buying some things we needed, some things we wanted and some things that inspired our creative juices.

CostcophotoIn the baking aisle, the kids jumped up on 20-pound bags of flour, sending white chalky dust into the air, and hugged each other. They leaned in for a picture. Even my eldest crawled around under the eaves in the way that children do in confined spaces, feeling that the tight surroundings contained a world of discovery.

They sampled foods at various stations. We brainstormed what our week will be like in meals, what holiday gifts we want to buy for their cousins, I bought a book for my father just because.

We spent, seriously, an hour and a half at the superstore this morning. It’s cold and windy and gray outside, but inside under the fluorescent lights and very high ceilings, the four of us melded into a world of what-if and try-this and it was incredibly fun.

It’s like, given the time to play, we just do. Had this been a typical day – school and homework and following routines, workplace and deadlines and following routines, checking off to-do lists and falling exhausted into bed a few hours from now – well, you get the picture.

Sometimes, the best moments with the ones we love come in the least expected environments. That’s when we are open to the possibilities. And I wouldn’t trade this morning for anything.

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