I went to Target this morning to pick up a few random things. A birthday card, a few bottles of wine, paper towels, a box of tampons, and a Mega Bloks Halo minifigure that I pinky promised I’d buy for Riley because Gertie ate the one we bought yesterday as a reward for surviving a throat culture at the pediatrician’s office, which thank God was negative.
Gertie’s been driving me batty lately. She climbs on tables and takes the boys’ toys hostage. Last night, she peed in the bedroom and pooped under the computer desk. I think she needs a paper chain! This Gertie rant has nothing to do my trip to Target, except that it helps explain the wine in my shopping cart.
In the toy aisle, I came upon a woman with a baby in a stroller and a toddler who was exploring. You know, running all over the place. It was a little tricky to get my shopping cart through the chaos, and eventually the mom said, “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t apologize,” I said. “I get it. I have two of my own. They just happen to not be here right now.”
She laughed a little bit and said, “You’re lucky.”
I laughed a little bit, too. She was right. I don’t often think about all of the catastrophic shopping outings I’ve had with my boys over the years, but – oh man – I’ve had them. We’ve all had them. These days, I take for granted all of the places I can go alone with no whining, needing to go the bathroom RIGHT NOW, or fielding questions I don’t want to answer, like, for instance, “What’s a tampon?”
When I finally reached the end of the aisle, she said, “Enjoy yourself.”
As if I were at the spa or something! I was at Target, for Pete’s sake, but damn it if it wasn’t just a little bit peaceful.
I looked back at her and said, “Thank you,” and then I added, “You’ll get here eventually.”
And that was it. She continued to chase after her little boy, and I headed toward the front of the store to buy my wine and tampons. Our conversation was brief, but it was profound. There was no judgment, and there was no envy. She was genuinely happy for my present solitude, and I was genuinely hopeful for her future solitude. We were two Mamas at Target on the same wild ride but at different stops on the journey.