02 January 2015

Kindness: Part 6 - In Which My Groceries are Once Again Saved by Someone Else

I think it is likely that my little girl will grow up to be a world traveler.  Or at least want to go to college out of state.  Every morning she wakes up (often before the sun), finds her way into my bed, pries my eyelids open, and says, "Mama, I want to go somewhere."  Every time she hears a door open she drops what she is doing, comes running, and says, "I want to go with you."  Even if I'm just going outside to throw away a smelly diaper.  

Sometimes, when she wakes me up, I want to tell her that recent science indicates that the biggest threat to her safety and well being is the driving of her sleep deprived mother.  But, since she is only two, I figure she doesn't care much about the similarities between fatigued and intoxicated driving.  Instead I get up, nurse the baby, find some breakfast for the older kids, get clothes and shoes on everyone, and a few short hours later we are ready to go somewhere.

She used to ask to go to the museum.  That made my little nerdy heart swell with pride.  We went through a phase shortly after her surgery and our new baby when she would ask to go to the hospital.  That would make me a little bit sad for her.  Now she usually asks to go to Costco.  I am apathetic about this request.  It usually seems reasonable and practical, so often I agree.  I like shopping with my kids at Costco.  The carts have two seats, so, with my youngest in a baby carrier, everyone has a place.  And there are samples on every isle, so I don't even have to bring my own fruit snacks to keep everyone happy.  

Last time we went to Costco it was a chilly day.  After we finished our trip through the maze of industrial sized laundry detergent I bundled everyone up and we headed outside.  About halfway between the door and my car I commented about how the weather had warmed up considerably since we had first arrived at the store.  Just as I was removing the hat from my overheating infant, the rain started.  And it didn't start gradually.  We were all soaked completely through before I could finish saying "darn."  Since I was already in the middle of the parking lot, I decided there was nothing to do but keep going.  I piled my kids in the car and loaded the groceries as quickly as I could.  

When we got home it was still pouring.  Everyone was already wet, so I tried to hurry them inside and started bringing our soggy boxes of goldfish inside.  My baby was no longer too warm and was starting to fuss.  As my three year old ran inside he slipped on the wet tile and hit his head on the corner of the bottom stair.  And my little girl stood inside the door insisting that she wanted to go somewhere again.  With three upset children and a 10 pound bag of chicken nuggets that needed to go in the freezer I stared at the pouring rain and decided that my 3 gallons of milk would just have to wait.  

And then my neighbor drove by.  She and two of her boys rushed over and started unloading my car for me.  They brought in everything.  And the checker at Costco did not give me a box, so every single unreasonably large item had to be carried individually.  They made at least a dozen trips, and the boys even politely wiped the water off their feet every time they came into my house.  (Their mom did too, but I felt like such thoughtful behavior from children was especially noteworthy.)

With the groceries taken care of I was left to attend to my cranky kids.  Within a few minutes everyone was dry and cheerful (and ready to go somewhere else.)