Scene 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 been 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.
Scene 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.
Scene 3: The Parking Lot
Once we paid for our items and everyone was bundled in their winter gear, I started looking for the minivan. 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. 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 to 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.”