Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Someone Somewhere Always Has it Worse

Last night the kids and I met Dave at the grocery store to pick up a few things for the pantry. Ethan got to ride in the shopping cart with the play car hooked onto the front, so he had a fantastic time, and for not having taken a nap in over a week, he was pretty well behaved.

When we got to the checkout lines, there was a nicely dressed woman in the line next to me with two kids, a boy and a girl. I'm guessing the boy was 5 or 6? And the girl was a couple years older. They were loud, and obnoxious and whiny, the boy especially, and I felt a little bad for her, figuring she'd had a long day at work, picked up the kids, had to go to the store, everyone was tired, and the kids were probably hungry.

Our line moved more slowly than hers, and when we got out to the parking lot, she was trying to load her groceries in her SUV, and her son was halfway up the parking lane, pitching an all-out, absolute, throw-down FIT. The child was jumping up and down in place, in a rage, positively growling. She kept her cool and tried to finish loading the groceries. She turned away for just a second to address her son, and in that split second, her buggy started to roll.

Surprisingly, that snapped her son out of his snit immediately, and he ran full-speed to her aid, trying to catch their buggy. It was picking up speed, however, and he wasn't able to. It rolled across a main thoroughfare in the parking lot, and he knew better than to go in the "street" so there he stopped, at the edge. The buggy rolled on. She started trying to run after it, but it had gone too far. I reached her in our van at that moment, and asked if she needed help, and offered to watch her son just to make sure he didn't run into traffic while she got her groceries. She thanked me, but said she'd have to drive to get it anyway.

As I was leaving the parking lot, I saw where it had landed: in the absolute farthest corner of the lot. It was upright, at least.

I feel badly for her, but at the same time I have to admire her. She kept herself together and was very calm and nonchalant about it all. I would have been a wreck and probably started to cry.

Ethan hasn't had a nap in over a week, it's true, but at least he didn't pitch a fit at the store and I didn't lose my buggy full of groceries.

Things aren't as bad as I think sometimes. All it takes is a little perspective.

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