slice of life

Scenes from Target

Painted in WaterlogueScene 1: Bullseye’s Playground

I wiped down the cart and returned an item to customer service. Isabelle kept her coat on and made her way to the dollar section at Target. She didn’t tell me she was going there after our stop at customer service. It was just understood.

She reached for things she doesn’t need. Sometimes, Isabelle gets frustrated when I tell her she can’t buy something even when I have a good reason, (e.g., “You have enough slime.” or “You may not buy that because we don’t celebrate that holiday.”). Fortunately, she didn’t put up a big fight today, but she insisted when she grows up she’ll let her kids buy Easter things even if though she’s Jewish. (I didn’t respond to that one since — until this morning — Isabelle has beenย convinced she isn’t having kids when she grows up. I’d say this is a step forward in terms of my prospects for having grandchildren.)

Isabelle could’ve stayed and looked through the tchotchkes in Bullseye’s Playground for a half-hour if I let her. However, Ari started squirming from his cart seat so I put an end to her search after ten minutes.

Painted in WaterlogueScene 2: The Aisles

Somewhere in the children’s section, Isabelle decided she was too tired to stand. I didn’t feel like listening to her complain so I said, “If I hold the cart, then you can climb the big part of it.”

She looked stunned. I haven’t allowed her to do this in years.

“Okay!” she said as she placed one leg on the metal bar for support and hiked the other leg over the cart.

“Wow!” I said, impressed, as she flung her the supporting leg over. “Just sit down while I shop.”

She did. In fact, she entertained Ari from the back of the cart too.

Peace was restored.

Painted in WaterlogueScene 3: The Parking Lot

Once we paid for our items and everyone was bundled in their winter gear, I started looking for the minivan.ย Which aisle did I park in again? My eyes scanned the lot for our minivan. I spotted minivan after minivan, but not ours. I chuckled to myself.ย When did I get old enough and suburban enough to drive a minivan?

A minute later, I found our minivan in the parking lot. I positioned the shopping cart alongside the back of it and pulled out my phone. I wanted toย capture this ordinary moment — running errands with my kids on a Sunday morning — just because. I paused in the cold, looked at my kids, and smiled. This might not be how I would’ve pictured my life 20 years ago, but it’s a pretty good life.

“It’s cold, Mommy. Can we get in the car?” Isabelle asked.

“Yes,” I said as I pushed my phone into my coat pocket. “Let me help you out of the cart.”

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22 thoughts on “Scenes from Target

  1. I pause,
    in the cold:
    two kids
    in a cart.
    Time wheeled
    out into the
    parking lot.
    I eye
    the scene.
    the picture.
    If only
    I could make
    time, stop.

    — You know what I’m up to, Stacy. Line-lifting to steal some words to make a poem as comment.
    Thanks for the shopping spree!


    1. I adore your lifted lines of poetry, Kevin! So glad March is here so we can be treated to these again! (No worries about the E. I know you know how to spell it. Typos happen.)

  2. I felt like I was there! And yes, II can remember looking at Easter candy, too, when I was growing up but I lived in a Jewish neighborhood, so no one was getting Easter candy! Love the reflection you offer. It is a great life – beautiful kids, and a great husband while you continue to be a leader in the education community – sharing your insights with so many teachers who, in turn, touch so many lives!

    1. My feeling is that Iz will have more than enough jelly rings, chocolate lollipops, and chocolate-covered matzah to make up for not getting Easter candy. ๐Ÿ™‚

      On a more serious note, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them, Lynne.

  3. I, too, took my family to Target yesterday morning. Fortunately, my son fell asleep in his carseat after church, so my husband stayed in the car with him. I took my daughter into Target and because I walk fast, she had to walk fast, too (right past the “Bullseye’s Playground,” as you put it). The weekend errand runs are inevitable on the weekend. But, it was kind of nice having my daughter push the cart (barely) next to me as we zipped through the aisles.

  4. There is no doubt that Target is a place that invites curiosity for kids! When our children were young, I would only bring them if absolutely necessary (twins, then 21 months later, a surprise third.) While I may have missed some of the precious moments you describe, my now teenagers have more than made up for lost time during our current Target runs! I love that Isabelle saw the novelty in your offer and helped keep Ari busy so you could shop with a little more freedom.

  5. Love this glimpse into your Sunday morning, Stacey. Since it doesn’t take much to get me distracted in Target I’ve often wondered what it must be like with kids. And I loved your line about the minivan. I remember thinking the same thing when we got ours, but I loved that car – I carted lots of crates of books in it to courses I taught!

  6. I remember those days. Now my kids go to Target by themselves. Today their mission got them a yoga mat, a yoga block (for me), makeup and some skin care products. I love that I can send them out on my errands now, but I do sometimes miss those shopping trips together.

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