Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Note

Dear Smiths Grocery Store,

My Daughter and I love your store. It is well organized and has the best cream cheese muffins on the planet. The neon lights and neatly waxed floors sooth my seasonal depression. You are so kind to give my daughter a cookie, which she makes me ask your baker for every trip even if we are just picking up milk and bendy straws. So I was quite surprised with myself when I began to curse, of course silently, as I entered your lovely store with my girl. You see, she was in one of those carts. You know, the one that looks like a truck and is supposed to entertain a tot and de-stress the mom? I have to admit,it is hard for a two year old to want the old standby when such options are presented: a pimped out red and yellow car, two steering wheels, with beeping horns, and access to anything on the two lower shelves inside the store. I have indulged my children on several occasions and allowed them to be in the driver's seat. In fact, even my nine year old still enjoys pretending to hall our family food around in this miniature semi even if his knees are hugging his ears. I should be praising you, entertaining my kids so my shopping can get done without having them trumpeting off that nerd ropes and Cheetos should end up as part of our weekly cuisine. If only a two year old and nine year old collaberated on the first food pyramid. Solace in the store would be a lovely surprise.

Yet, that is not what I have found. In eight years using these carts, with a four year ban somewhere in the middle, they have been the cause of many breakdowns, miffed old ladies who can't squeeze their slender silver carts past our aisle hogging semi, criminal acts, and chaos added to my regular jaunt to the grocery store. If you have spoken to my husband, he probably would tell you that I need to me sent back to Grocery Cart Ed (Etiquette), but I could be a smart and efficient store patron the right vehicle was provided. So why even use them if I detest them so much? It is their eye-catching parking spot, directly in front of the store. I have to give you a little credit, this was to my advantage during the colder months. I could just simply say, "Oh these are too cold," and my obedient tot wouldn't even think of protesting. As the earth is warming I now don't have an excuse and being the reasonable mom I am, permit my daughter to enter her monster truck, the one kind of monster she isn't afraid of. So I do take some blame in my demise, I do not throw the old parenting prerogative at her and allow her pleasure as I grin, bear, and silently curse it.

Dearest Smith's this is what I am asking. Hide them. Put them in a the far dark corner of the cart corral. Leave them in the far corner where you put your day old breads and pastries. Put them by the broccoli and cauliflower. Better yet, put them in the woman's restroom where my daughter won't go even with bribery of a free cookie from your bakery which she fond she gets whether she disposes of her waste or not. The bakers are much nicer than mommies.

If you would cooperate in this matter I promise we will no longer set off your ant-theft system with ten packs of batteries that sit lay on the floor in the cab being kicked by size six feet.

Thank you for allowing us the pleasure to sniff your pineapples, look at your fancy cakes, and gander at your crab legs.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Just a Regular Sunday

Doing dishes after a belly pleasing meal and listening to Aaron's music tastes for the day consumed me yesterday. The kids had rushed down stairs to finish the last trailing minutes of a movie and it was just us. I cleared. He washed. I smiled at his thoughtful profile. I often tease Aaron that he has no idea what I am prattling on about when he is looks like this. He is lost in solving the mysteries of the medical world or thinking of some quote he read in one of those books like, The Third World Anthology, that he some how finds in the stacks at the local library. He is pensive. This time, I was not prattling just merely observing his thought process, listening to his choice in music switch from Man of La Mancha to the Monkees, beautiful.
At that moment I thought our Sunday evening habit was missing someone, our two someones. Banging on the stairs announced their arrival. Anna- my sea urchin with her after nap foamy curls and dinner crusted face. Harris-who has captured Aaron's pondering profile at moments, his world becoming more complex and more engrossing by the second. Then we danced. Anna took Aaron out of his trance and scooped him up in her softness, leaving me observing. Harris quickly put me to action and informing me that yes, He can lead now. So he led me and Anna led Aaron, we became followers. I don't think we waltzed around our living room on a regular basis until Harris came. Anna made it even more frequent.
Later, after we smoothed Anna's curly head and made sure Harris's favorite blanket still covered his toes, I took Aaron's hand in the sudden quiet and realized it was seven more days until Sunday came again.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ignoring This

Last week I consciously decided to ignore my blog after walking outside to get the mail and be greeted by my long lost friend, warm sun. He was bathing in his blue bath water and I was very pleased at his greeting. So much to my dismay, cruel old man winter has made a triumphal return and given me goose bumps on my bare legs as I walk into the gym and forced me to zip up my jacket. So in rebuttal, I must share the mercies of a few days of spring frolicking. Oh, how I love the frolicking weather.

Anna and I took many leisurely strolls that ended in finding many good rocks and sticks and left me pondering about why anyone would fill their parking strip with smooth creamy rocks knowing that every child two to twenty-three would need one for their pocket. In our neighborhood that would give the rocks about a two day lively hood.

As the sun erased the snow, I became enthused at the prospect of a zoo trip. Just, me and my little girl soaking in cheerful vitamin packed rays and looking at more things frolicking. So it snowed. Yet, a slight dusting might keep away the average animal spectator but not me and my wee one. As real jungle explorers, we braved the weather (although, I thikn heat usually is the concern there) to see the animals in their almost natural habitats. Now every day Anna tells me it would be a "good idea" to go to the zoo. In fact today she mentioned that three times would be about the right number.

So now I have come down with it. I have self-diagnosed myself as having spring fever. It seems like I will have to suffer with this plague a bit longer as my yellowed grass is under a full down comforter of snow not alowing to change its color. To try to self soothe I write this in hopes that my ignorance of the current conditions with bring wihter to a quick closure.

Look for my pining to change for a longing for fall about mid-August. Right now, I am ready for my sweaters to go back in storage.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I went on a run yesterday. A tough run. My thighs reminded me at each step of how hard I had worked at my spinning class the day before and they begged for rest. Yet, the sun was giving a late winter salute and as the mild air rushed through me, I couldn't relinquish. Snow-capped mountains pushed me, blue sky and stretched out clouds made me endure. Mid-run I thought about turning around, there is always a next week. There is plenty of time for exhausting runs. Yet,I told myself, this is not because I have to but because I want to. My air, my pace, my frozen surroundings, my exhaustion were for today. As I rounded the bend to the pond where I had started it mirrored the great sky that had been my umbrella. My breathing slowed, my pace faltered. Not out of tiredness but because this is what I was given. This is what God has given me. Tears slowed me even further as I let my gratitude fill my lungs and compensate for my lagging pace.

Just now, my sister e-mailed this to me because she was touched and then I was touched because of her effort. I think of this talk often when I write, when I look in a set of azure blue and a set of chocolate brown eyes, and when I am amongst His creations soaking in their strength and gratitude overcomes me.

***The pic is of one of the last wintry sunsets we spent in Idaho. There was nothing to end the sun's great descent.