I'll admit, since both girls moved I've indulged in many a pity party and curried my gray cloud, feeling a bit like I no longer have a purpose in life. When I was getting ready to go to Santa Fe with my girlfriends, I stopped by a Ross store for clothes. Ross is one of those stores where there are too many clothes on rack after discounted rack in the store. It's a store where people use shopping carts, or at least they try, though it is impossible to get the things between the rows of racks. It's also a store where women, who have no other choice, bring their children with them while they shop.
I don't like shopping, and really dislike shopping alone, but here I was, sliding one disappointing shirt after another across the tiny gap on the rack I had made by cramming my hand between the sizes. Behind me, in the area near the dressing room, I heard a child crying. At first it was just soft crying but soon became loud wailing, you know that forced cry that children do when the initial cry is over but they just can't give it up or want to punish the parent. The wailing was coming closer and now I could hear the mother.
"That's enough." Louder wailing.
"I said that's enough."
"You're a mean mama!" said by a boy about four or five.
"Yep, get in line." Louder wailing as the mother herded him into the checkout line, which at Ross is never short.
"You're a mean mama!" he repeated and resumed wailing.
I remembered a similar scene with Lil, except she never got to express her opinion of me in front of a small crowd, as my rule was to tell them to stop doing something, and if they didn't I would start counting. If it ever got to five, they were in big trouble. Getting to five also meant that even if I had spent an hour finding the perfect widget, that widget was left in the store while I escorted/dragged/carried the offending offspring from the store.
So I smiled and thought to myself that shopping alone wasn't so bad after all.
Until next time, may you have blessings and pleasant shopping,