11.24.2010

Ready, Set, Remember

Thanksgiving memory circa 2005 or thereabouts
I'm usually not your usual crunchy, airy-fairy, pollyanna, sock 'n sandals, peace, love, & granola type of do-unto-others self. In fact, I hated Eat, Pray, Love so much, I wanted to hit the author in the head with a shovel. But that's just me.

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.

9 comments:

  1. I'm surprised that you didn't invite her!

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  2. Amazing!
    Teary.
    Wednesday is here!

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  3. What Time is she coming over?

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  4. Just a reminder to cherish the moments that you have.

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  5. Can't stop thinking about this. Would it be considered Blog Jumping Shark or stalking to find out what she's up to tomorrow? Headed to one of her kids' homes, vacationing, cozy day knitting? Going out?....but then again its really not about her I guess. Let us know if she tries the brussel sprouts.

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  6. I did invite her; she had plans. OF COURSE SHE DID! I wanted to adopt her, but she's already taken. Damn it.

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  7. I'm one of the burned out moms (one year old and 2.5 year old) and I try to be nice and smile back when the older moms give me one of those "been there done that, enjoy it" looks. Sometimes, I want to hand over the toddler, though...

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  8. It sucks, make no mistake about it. When I see young moms with little kids (1 & 2.5??? yikes), I immediately remember exactly how much it sucked. I always wondered if it was that bad, or was I a baby who needed to suck it up. It's that bad. Anyone who doesn't say so is lying. Chin up girl, they'll grow.

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