The line for the checkout was long at the grocery store today. We were 4 carts deep and I was wondering why, on a Tuesday morning, it was so busy. I figured I must have had bad timing.
I was in a particularly bad mood too. My husband had spent several minutes trying to cajole a smile out of me, something that usually comes quickly, even when I'm sad. That seems to be our secret somehow. We can laugh in almost any situation.
But not this morning. Nope. This morning I just wanted to sit in the dark and avoid the whole world.
And so, I went grocery shopping. I was a little concerned at what I would come home with since I was in an I-just-don't-give-a-flying-fig kind of mood, but I went anyways. Because we were out of produce and I had decided to try to reset our nutrition and start eating a little more healthy. Something I end up doing every couple of months because for some reason it just never sticks. Our never ending struggle to be healthy and lose weight and all that kind of stuff that we're supposed to do, but almost never do.
It is perhaps possible that the lack of sugar may have been playing with my mood, but we'll just pretend I didn't say that. I'm not addicted to sugar at all. Shh. Don't tell anyone. I like sugar.
I hate wasting my child-free hours grocery shopping. I prefer to be doing school work during that time. But lately, as my blog can probably attest, Finleigh has not been the funnest child to shop with. And as I weighed my options, I knew I would rather lose homework time than chance taking Finleigh into the store. Every time she has a meltdown in public, a little piece of me dies and my strength and resolve to live a normal life weaken. I just don't have the emotional capacity for it anymore.
So, grocery shopping was a peaceful endeavour and my mood had lightened a little as my trouble faded just a bit.
When I ended up standing behind two other carts in line to check out when the store was almost empty I shrugged my shoulders and just stood there. It wasn't worth the energy to be annoyed. It just didn't matter because this day was shot anyways. What was another 10 minutes?
As the cart ahead of me was unloading, the till beside us opened up. There was a young man with a baby in his cart behind me. He motioned for me to go ahead even though he easily could have popped in there first. It's what most people would do. It's what I expected him to do, anyways. So, I told him to go ahead. No big deal. He had a baby after all. How many times had I been stuck in line at the grocery store, holding my breathe, hoping that my children would make it through until we got outside to start making a fuss?
It seemed like that till would be quicker, so I popped in behind them and then looked up and saw two beautiful blue eyes looking at me. The little guy in the cart was maybe two years old, and he looked to have Down Syndrome. I was startled for some reason. I don't know why. So then I started talking to him as he stared at me. It was all I could so not to scoop him up and cuddle him. I immediately felt a connection to him for even though Finleigh does not have Down Syndrome, she still has a genetic issue that will impact her entire life, just like this little guy does.
And so then, I immediately felt a connection to his parents. By now, the mom had joined her guys and I was struck by how young they were. Mid-twenties was my guess. I wanted to cry. Such a sweet, young couple who I could see were working so well together. One popped over to buy something at customer service. Then the other went to grab an item they'd forgotten. It reminded me of how Brian and I used to shop when the kids were little. Such a great team, a trait I knew they would need in the coming years as they faced the not so normal future that had been given to them.
I wanted to say something to them, but I could not find the words. So I stood their silently, watching them, allowing my fear of saying the wrong thing supersede my fear of not saying anything - as it usually does. Hoping that they were connected somehow to others in a similar situation.
What could I say?
"Hey, my kid has a genetic syndrome too."
I could not think of one thing that would be acceptable to say. That wouldn't make me sound like a crazy lady. So I kept silent. And now I'll always wonder how they're doing.
But hey. At least I have lots of produce in my house again. Now I can spend hours in my kitchen preparing it all. And then my kids will complain because it's not processed crap.
One week later, here I sit, reading my unposted entry. Unposted because I couldn't think of a good ending. I can never think of a good ending. So, often my entries feel unfinished, the last sentence hanging in the air, waiting for the conclusion. Much like life, I suppose. Never quite concluded. Never wrapped up neatly.
But the good news is the kids didn't really complain about the healthy stuff. And now they have four boxes of sugar cereal in the cupboard to make them happy after a much less eventful grocery shop yesterday. (Aside from a nice gentleman who helped me with my groceries. I wanted to tell him that he reminded me of my father-in-law, but I suspected that saying that to a 50-ish year old wouldn't make him very happy seeing as I'm pushing 40. So, I just said thanks. I suppose I could have told him he reminded me of my father-in-law 10 years ago, but I suspect that wouldn't have made him feel much better. Right?)