|Thanksgiving memory circa 2005 or thereabouts|
However, something extraordinary happened in the midst of the Thanksgiving rush that took my breath away.
Swamped with a cart heaping with cheese, fruit, butter, eggs, tons of veggies, flour, yeast, a frozen 25 lb. bird, cream, and yes, brussel sprouts, I navigated the crowded grocery store easily because I was, happily, kid free. Everybody at school, work flexible to shop mid-day, with time to spare to eat free samples.
I couldn't help but notice all the young moms juggling babies in carseats, toddlers tackling displays, lost, crumpled to-do lists, babies and toddlers with tired moms spilling coffee and looking frazzled. A massive, full-blown temper tantrum by a kid at the lobster tank sealed the deal.
I used to be that mom.
Young and outnumbered with adorable little snot-nosed kids who suck every bit of the life out of you, figuratively and literally – and tired, so tired! Yet happy, too, most of the time. But never in the grocery store. I'm a little bit sad that my kids are past that age, but only just a little bit. Because life is pretty good, and I'm glad it's over. But . . .
As I headed for a speedy-looking check-out line, an older – much, much older – meticulously dressed woman was watching me. She smiled at the abundance of my shopping and said,
"That's a lot of groceries; you must be having a houseful. Well, I know who's cooking at your house, dear."
I smiled and admitted, 'yes we are,' and she smiled, knowingly.
"I remember. But I only have memories now."
She happily wished me a Happy Thanksgiving, and walked away. She was happy, but I started to cry.