Thursday, June 6, 2013

That know the one

The first week of summer break.  We ventured to Wal-Mart for some grocery shopping.  And I kept seeing 'that mom'.  You know the one...

Her eyes were glazed as she aimlessly turned down another aisle.  Her gaggle of children were all around.  So close that to maneuver the cart required great skill, short of running a precious one over.

It has been months since she's had to navigate this trip with all in tow.  And what seemed like a simple trip for groceries has quickly become a challenge in Survivor. 

Near the dairy aisle, her children were still fresh in their journey.  Giggles and fun could be heard as they began to snake up and down the many aisles.

But by the frozen food section, the close quarters of a grocery store aisle have become too much.  The snacks brought are devoured and the 25 minutes of scenery have proven to provoke boredom and apparently the only cure is to terrorize the others in your party. 
She came prepared with list in hand and budget in mind, but forgetting the amount of food these children can put away.  They keep adding and adding to the mound already in her cart.

Questions and pleas and whining and the constant hum of mindless chatter have begun to pickle her brain, so a list is a guide and if we have to turn around and retrace steps, it can wait and go on the next list.

She had to pause in the fresh food section to remind on the etiquette of keeping our hands to ourselves and not touching every piece of fruit and vegetable we pass.  And again in the deli to lecture on not teasing the sister that needs to remain strapped in the cart.

She released the reigns to allow one to venture off to the bathroom solo for the first time but began the search for that little head bopping down the aisle on the way back, almost immediately.  And when ample time had past and then some, she began the screech to the bathroom in near heart attack, only to find her little goggling donuts instead.

With cart piled high and shopping winding down, she ventured to the craft aisle to find poster board for summer charts.  Charts for chores and reading and behavior.  Stickers to reward with promises of adventure.  "If we can all gather around and be good so memories can be made and fun can be had and so mommy doesn't lose her mind" charts.

And if anyone had been in that aisle the conversation might have gone like this:

"Mom, can we?"
"But why?"
"Because Mom's crabby.  That's why."

It might have gone like that.  Or not.

So the first week of summer break at the grocery store.  Have you seen 'that mom'?

Then apparently you weren't in my Wal-Mart following my brood around. 'Cause that's how we roll folks.

The next time you go to the store with all your precious little's in tow and you begin to feel like 'that mom'.  Remember summer is only a season.  One that flies by year after year.  And all too soon, a summer will come and we'll be by ourselves all too much.   

They won't remember how you felt.  They'll only remember how you made them feel.  They'll remember the pool and the sunscreen.  The museums and the day trips.  The walks on a summer evening, the bike rides.  The county fairs and the parks.  Those will be the memories they cherish.  The moments that will bring them back to childhood as adults.

And believe it or not, your memories will not be the lectures or the arguments.  The charts or even the cries of boredom.  But the giggles and squeals of laughter in the backyard and the eyes of wonder waiting for the next adventure.

If you see 'that mom' on your next trip to the grocery, give her a knowing smile and maybe even a word of encouragement.  A little grace can mean all the difference.  And then go home and give yourself the same.

No comments: