So - I should've done the grocery shopping this weekend when I was kidless. And for all kinds of reasons, I didn't. I got caught up in weekendness and fun and cleaning up the wreck of our house. Anyhoo - the long and the short of it is the larder was bare and I had to venture out to replenish supplies. With BOTH kids in tow. Not overly heinous when you only have to pick up a few things. But when you have to do a down-and-dirty-I-ran-outta-everything-shopping-trip with two kids.... you have to be prepared to come out of said trip a temporary shell of your former self. Today was no exception. By the time I make it to the the checkout line, I'm frazzled, covered in Yop, and just plain done in. The children are wild wild hellions and look, I'm sure, to others as though they have been raised by amateurs (though, aren't all kids raised by amateurs, really?!). And I may as well have been speaking to them in Hungarian for all the good my words did. I feel tears pricking and stinging the back of my eyes and I shut my eyes for a moment, trying to regroup and ignore the fact that both children are perilously perched on the shopping cart, trying to kill each other, and very, very loud. (Oh, how I just loooooove being stared at in Superstore!)
And then, older woman in line touches my arm and starts to speak to me. I brace myself for something that will make me feel super shitty for being frazzled and at the end of my rope, like: "oh enjoy this, they're only this age for such a short time," or "they're such blessings" or, "they're just being kids!" because this is the normal route such conversations take. And while of course, each of these things are true, they only serve to make me feel like a big creepy jerk for feeling near tears and slightly homicidal.
But instead, she smiles knowingly and says, "I'm so glad mine are older now. It really gets so much easier when they're older. Hang in there."
And then I do cry a little bit.
But mostly out of the overwhelming and immense feeling of gratitude I feel towards this lovely and kind (and honest!) stranger.
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