In an effort to get out of my head a bit, I brought my husband to work today to get some things done since we have a full day tomorrow. Well, after getting our system situated to go grocery shopping, my six kids and I began to work our way through the busy store. It wasn’t long before I noticed that others were in a hurry and my six kids (well stationed around the cart so we can move through the aisles and I can see all of them, while also respecting that the aisles are shared space), and I were quite the inconvenience to those trying to enjoy their own shopping trips.
One lady actually glared at me that she had to walk around my two daughters in order to get to the other side of us. One elderly couple stood there grumbling, and after I gently and respectfully apologized and said ‘oops! we’re right in your way!’ the woman said, ‘yep!’ without cracking a smile. That was about 5 or so minutes into our mission at that particular store…
Add to that kids asking for things, me reminding them to walk with me, looking at my list, processing what I needed next, my oldest in lala land that I had to keep bringing back to the cart so I didn’t lose her, training my youngest ones to stay where I’ve told them to stay, and trying not to walk past any of the items I needed to get and needless to say, I was beginning to feel, well, angry. I was angry that these folks were upset that they had to pause for a moment or go about 3 feet out of their way on account of my family trying to live our lives in the same space. I can’t even imagine what they’d have thought of me if I had let my kids run wild if they were so disgusted with us in the manner we were moving along.
I can’t say I remained respectful, unfortunately. I had grace for about 4 people before I made a slight scene as I spoke to my children about how surprised I was at the people’s reactions to us simply trying to buy food for our home. Thankfully, my kids pointed out the kind man who winked at them, the man with a little boy who smiled and gladly let Kimberlyn say hi and talk to him; the woman who smiled and nudged her own teenage daughter and pointed at us… I don’t think anyone realizes how much these small moments mean to us.
I had to leave before I burst into tears. With only half my list completed, I hurriedly checked out and got the kids in the van before calling my husband and having a little cry on the phone. Mind you, this was our third stop. I’d already brought the kids to the bread store, the liquidation center, and they’d been in the van for about an hour so I could bring their Daddy to work to take the van. They were behaving quite well considering my expectations… so I was angry. What kind of expectations does society place on parents and children? I simply don’t understand.
Well, I’m not sorry for being in the way. I live here too. My being considerate of the time and efforts of others doesn’t mean my time and efforts aren’t important, it simply means I care for others as well as my own.
Thank you to all of you who take a moment to smile. Your kindness means a lot… my kids clearly noticed, and I’m so so grateful they do. They help me see the kindness when I’m struggling to do so.