Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Bright Spot

I meant to write a post about this on Friday when it happened, but I was trying to get out the door to go to Seattle with my sis and four kids.

On Friday afternoon, my sister (who is here visiting for the week) was going to a friend's wedding. I dropped her off and then treated wanted to run some errands while I was in the vicinity. I opted to do Burgerville first and after one look at the drive-through line opted to eat inside. (Did I mention that Walla Walla Sweet Onion Rings are a true guilty pleasure... with a fresh blackberry milkshake?) After the kids had happily eaten their kids meals and gotten a balloon, we got back in the car and went on our way. Apparently the excessive saturated fat intake affected my judgment because I went shopping for groceries at Trader Joe's with all four kids in tow.

Jackson was reasonably behaved for the first five minutes of our shopping excursion, standing in between me and the shopping cart, riding and holding on (yes, I know this is not proper shopping cart protocol, but that is the subject of a different blog post). But then he discovered the cute kid-sized shopping carts and had to push one. Just a quick side note to Trader Joe's-- the kid-size shopping carts are super-adorable but NOT a very practical safe, idea... especially for a child like Jackson. Jackson's glee at having his own shopping cart soon turned into a happy exploration of how many items would fit in the cart basket and delight at using the cart as a battering ram.

I tried to rein Jackson in as much as I could, but a) his shopping cart was much smaller with better handling than mine, b) that kid is fast and c) there is only so far I could chase him before I realized that I had another smaller child perched up in the shopping cart basket that shouldn't be unattended either. (See shopping cart rules from different blog post.) I tried quickly curtail the shopping trip, grabbing a few items and heading for the register, but not before I got the dreaded question from an irate Trader Joe's employee: "Is that little blond boy yours? Will you please try to restrain him before he hurts something or someone." (I'm sorry, lady. Maybe someday you'll have a child like him and then you'll understand....)

I finally managed to get to the checkout and start heading for the exit, but that meant tearing Jackson from his beloved miniature shopping cart. So instead of a mini-battering-ram driving two-year-old, I had a kicking-and-screaming-enormous-tear-shedding two-year-old. Luckily Trader Joe's will help you load your groceries, so the checker could drive the cart while I dragged the screaming and crying Jackson out to the car. I spent several minutes wrestling Jackson into his car seat, during which his Burgerville balloon made an escape into the wild blue yonder, which only added to his shrieks and wails. Meanwhile, the checker loaded the groceries and I managed to shrug and smile weakly, "I guess it's naptime, huh?" "Yeah, that's kinda how I feel today," he responded. He finished loading the groceries in the back and headed back to the store while I started loading Addy into her car seat. A moment later he was running back out to my minivan holding a bouquet in his hand. "Happy Friday," he said, handing me the bouquet. "Have a great weekend." I stared at him for a second and then almost burst into tears before managing to say, "Thank you."

It was a really simple gesture, but it touched me deeply. Sometimes when I am out with my kids and they have a tantrum I feel like people look at me as an annoyance at best and a walking freak show at worst. Even when you're doing your best many people don't seem to realize that a child can have a mind and will of his own and there is only so much you can do. Just to know that someone looked at me as a human being having a hard day and not just "the annoying lady with lots of kids and that one blond kid that is always getting into trouble" made such a huge difference. Thank you, Trader Joe's checker! You made my day!

6 comments:

Greek Goddess said...

That's so sweet. I wish I did more of those kinds of good deeds. Some people just make the world a better place.

Ranell said...

I think he had a crush on you! Were you wearing your wedding ring? Maybe he thought you were single ... he saw all the craziness that is your life and said, " I want some of that!"

But really, what a nice guy and it is amazing how a little gesture like that can brighten up your whole day!

Lynnette said...

Almost made me cry too as I read it. What a simple thing, and for him to be so perceptive! I hope you got his name and wrote a gushing compliment in the employee comment box.

BigBrotherBear0 said...

I've been touched. Thank you Karen for sharing these moments in your life. They're wonderful to read about, and often quite inspiring.

黃英吳思潔吳思潔邦 said...

不錯的資訊~我會好好記下來!......................................................

Rebecca said...

Hey! I had a recent experience just like that recently that I blogged about. I totally feel your pain--expect I don't have four kids--yet.

It's good to know there are still perceptive and kind people out there!