A while ago, someone happened to be walking in the neighbourhood and discovered our tiny shop. She came in, delighted to find stationery in an unexpected place, and after looking around, asked me, “was this always a dream of yours, to open up a stationery shop??”
The answer is actually no, this was not a dream of mine. I thought I wanted to be a teacher, and it turns out, I really liked that. I did always like pens and fountain pens and stationery, but it was Jon who said we need to go out and grab life by the throat, and open up a fountain pen store.
Now, for those of you that also like stationery and pens and may be pondering what life might be like grabbed by the throat and in a stationery shop, I thought I would share a bit of how the life of a pen clerk is.
6:30 AM – Baby awakes, fussing, gurgling, crying. The day begins. Drowsy moaning from all parties, except the dog, who remains asleep throughout.
“Look, mom! I’m touching Super’s bum!”
7:30 AM – Family walk. Attempts to keep Super from trampling shrubs, eating garbage, chasing squirrel.
8:30 AM – Caleb’s first nap of the day. Breakfast for me and Jon over a discussion of momentous and strategic imperatives for the business (e.g. Jon: “I think I need to mop the floors today”).
Jon heads out to the shop. Super snacks on Jon’s leftovers.
9:00 AM – Answering emails, fielding phone calls from telemarketers, placing orders while spending too much time rifling through catalogues.
930 AM – First date with the scary spiders in the basement and this bad boy.
Our fearless guard dog refuses to go down, but looks concerned at the top of the stairs.
10:00 AM – Super goes up to rouse the baby. Feeding, snuggling, and a tummy rub for all. Baby is ready to attack another two hours of life.
12:00 – Head out, with the baby asleep in the wrap, to visit Jon in the shop. In photo below, Jon does not look quite ready to attack life, but he is.
May bring lunch, if I’m feeling generous. Say hi to some of our favourite customers. Rummage through new shipments arriving to see what new toys I have to play with. At times, debate with Jon over what I can keep.
2:00 – A visit to the library. I know Caleb is still a young pup, but there are only so many times you can say Goodnight Moon before your brains start to fall out.
3:00 PM – Back home. Attempts to provide a nutritious and well-rounded diet gleefully thwarted. Butternut squash (exciting!) or banana (delicious!) versus avocado (yuck). How there could be anyone, much less our own child that does not like avocado is beyond me. The baby’s dinosaur is avocado coloured. His high chair colour is literally labeled as “avocado.”
Super looks on sadly, relegated to the living room after having attempted to lick the bowls too many times.
4:00 PM – “You Are My Sunshine” 45 times, and he’s ready for the last nap of the day.
5:00 PM – Wake up, and a brief discussion of the accommodations. A joint effort to prepare dinner while awaiting Jon.
6:00 PM – We eat dinner.
6:30 PM – A rinse and a scrub, a bedtime story, and the monster is ready for his beauty sleep, exhausted by his day of being carried around.
7:00 PM – Jon manfully volunteers to do the dishes while Super and I snuggle on the couch and ponder life’s big questions.
8:00 PM – Back to answering emails, blogging, getting lost in Instagram, and oh, you know, maybe talking about how our days were.
So, actually, even though I didn’t grow up thinking to myself, I would like to one day own a stationery shop and place orders for boxes and boxes of paper and inks and pens, this kind of is a dream. I don’t know if I quite count as a stay-at-home mom or if I’m working from home or what, but it’s pretty amazing that I can have the baby at the shop, and he can grow up seeing his pops whenever we want.
Sometimes I hear the quotation “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.” I’m not sure that’s quite true, because I love what I do, but man, taxes and mopping still feel like work, but this stationery shop business is not too shabby.