Clean Up On Aisle Five!

I dropped a large plastic container of blueberries in the self checkout line at the grocery store this afternoon. They. went. EVERYWHERE. They spilled into the self checkout lines on either side of mine. They went under the candy and magazine display racks. They reached the end-of-aisle display of taco shells, and they even rolled into the frozen foods section.

It was like dropping a 1,000 marbles on the floor. It wasn’t sloppy like spilling a gallon of milk would’ve been, but it was chaotic enough for me to stand paralyzed in the middle of the mayhem with my jaw dropped and watch the world around me move in slow motion.

That’s when I locked eyes with the guy waiting in the self checkout line next to me. He looked at me, and then he looked the blueberries circling his shoes like sharks, and then he looked at me again, and he started laughing.

I let out a giggle, too.

“I’m sorry I’m laughing,” he said.

“It’s okay,” I said. “It is pretty funny. I’m sorry about the smashed blueberries about to stick to the bottom of your shoes.”

An employee came over with a roll of paper towels, and we laughed some more because a snow plow would’ve been a much more efficient cleaning tool.

I apologized to everyone around me for the mess, and the guy who laughed at me said, “Hey, if this is the worst thing that happens to you today, you’re doing fine.”

Another employee came over with a broom and a dust pan (not the snow plow we needed, but better than the paper towels), I paid for my groceries, including a container of replacement blueberries Riley fetched while pretending not to be related to the embarrassing lady who spilled blueberries all over the damn place, and we went home.

To anyone who literally or figuratively dropped a pound of blueberries (or worse) on the floor at the grocery store today, remember this:

If this is the worst thing that happens to you today, you’re doing fine.

Perspective is everything.

**This is a picture of the replacement blueberries. I wanted to take a picture of the blueberries on the floor at the grocery store, but I worried about the optics.

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Look Up

Every morning when I drive my 6th grader to school, the sun is in just the right spot in the sky to blind us. It’s irritating, but it’s also beautiful. The sun singes the edges of the clouds with an orange glow, and the sky is fifteen different shades of blue. It’s a daily gift and a breathtaking reminder to see the forest from the trees, and I often find myself saying to my son, “Look up.”

Look up because your phone can wait. Look up because there’s so much more to life than middle school angst. Look up because no matter what awful thing happens today, the sun will blind us again tomorrow. Look up because it all goes by so fast. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but I promise it does. Look up for no other reason than, in this moment, the sky is magic.

Today, he looked up. “I see Harry,” he said.

I saw Harry, too. I see him in the moon and the stars, in rainbows, and in sunsets, and I definitely saw him in this morning’s exquisite morning sky. What Dylan didn’t know was that today is the anniversary of the day we said goodbye to our sweet Harry.

“Do you know today is the anniversary of the day Harry died?” I asked as we pulled into the parking lot.

“Wait. Harry died the day after Halloween?” My son was five when Harry died. He was old enough to experience the grief and loss, but too young for the details—the day, the time, the sun in the sky—to stick.

“Yes. He died the morning after Halloween. And you saw him in the sky today, exactly five years later. Isn’t that cool? That’s why it’s so important to look up.”

He paused for a moment and then said, “Okay,” like a typical eleven year old kid who has to suffer the injustice of going to school the day after Halloween.

Today, he looked up. He paused. So did I. And I’m grateful.

Miss you lots, Bo-Berry. ❤️❤️❤️


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