My 6 year old son, Marcus, and I usually go to the grocery store together on the weekends. We have sort of made it our thing to do together. I mean I have to do it anyway, why not bring a little boy along too. No, really, he is great. If I start buying things that are not on my list he steers me back on track and tells me when we just need to leave and get home to watch a Netflix movie.
This is something we have evolved into, it did not start this harmonious in the beginning. It was usually me being typically exhausted with 2 kids trying to weave in and out of people in the aisles. I am trying to save money so I have my coupons and my list, but then notice something is on sale so naturally we have to have it or NEED it. And it’s on sale, so it’s ok, right? My youngest was in the habit of trying to eat my list or take the pen and try to put it up his nose. Then one kid cries and one kids wants that toy at the end of the aisle that Kroger strategically places where I need to stand and look to see what kind of spices I need. And then I will occasionally lose my cool with one of them and we end up having to leave without getting everything I needed so I wouldn’t have a mental breakdown. There is no exaggeration here, some days I can handle my life with kids and some days I just shouldn’t go out in public with my kids.
We have learned from each other and we make it a fun outing. We like to go and get free samples from our friend that works in the kiosk. We have some fun banter and he actually tells me about his days in school (which is huge for him). Sometimes I will tell him some good stories about growing up with younger siblings. Basically we just talk and have a good time. I have learned so much from this little boy and I know he makes me a better person. I know he is learning from me too, I just want it to be all of the good things.
One particular day while we are shopping, Marcus is riding in the large part of the shopping cart and crossing off items on the shopping list, we were having a good conversation about not buying items that were not on the list. An older lady stopped me and said she was enjoying our conversation. I smiled and said thank you. But she went on to tell me that I am a good mother and moments like this that I am having with my son are so special. She told me that she likes coming to Kroger because she needs groceries and always gets a good deal, but seeing people like us makes her day. I thought, wow, just that small instance where Marcus and I are having a good time and he is trying to keep me in line, we impacted someone else’s life. I couldn’t help it, but give her a hug. It didn’t feel awkward, it didn’t feel fake, it was just something I had to do. I didn’t know how to verbally tell her how appreciative I was for her kind words and that was the only way I knew how to show her at that time. I don’t think she will ever know how she impacted my life right there in that two minute meeting. And maybe Marcus will remember it one day too.