A glimpse into the future?

February 3, 2009


M and I went to Trader Joe’s today to do some grocery shopping.  While M was busy looking at all the brightly colored boxes, I was busy taking note of all of the mothers with their children of various ages.  That’s right, I was mom-rubbernecking.

One of the mothers I saw there struck fear into my heart.  She was there with two young boys- probably 2 and 4.  She was wonderful with them- patient, attentive, good sense of humor.  And they were incredibly well behaved. I know, I know. Creepy.

What threw me for a loop was the amount of food that she had in her shopping cart. To say it was overflowing would be an understatement.  I thought the poor cart might collapse.  The idea of having to buy that much food for one family was mind-blowing to me.  And given the way M already eats, it is very likely that we will someday have carts that full…

So I was in the lane next to her as we were checking out and I overheard her asking the cashier to subtotal the shopping as they went through.  And as he did, she kept most of the groceries but put a good number to the side.  She did it gracefully and cheerfully and it reminded me of how gracefully my parents handled the times when money was tight when we were kids.

I remember how self-conscious I felt as a kid at those times in the grocery store where my mom was watching each cent add up. I hope that if, God forbid, I am ever in the situation where I need to do the same thing, I will handle it with the same poise both my mom and the woman today did.


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