Part of my routine with my children is to take some of them with me when we do our massive grocery run. I do this trek – through Costco, Trader Joe’s, and then Target and it takes a great deal of time. But, it’s also become one of those things that they look forward to – so much so that I actually have to keep track of whose turn it is next otherwise I’ll deal with the it’s my turn argument. So, on my phone I’ve actually started a chart.
The other day when we went shopping the two little boys came with to help. First of all, it reminded me of the days when I only had the littles and how hard that journey can be. It is hard. Oh my goodness they are both independent, but also not quite wanting to follow all the rules and did I mention that they are three and five? So sweet moms that are reading this with those little ones right now and you go shopping and all of that let me be the first to stand up, clap, and tell you that you are amazing for all you do. Well done. 🙂
Anyways, at Trader Joe’s they have these teeny miniature shopping carts with tall flags on the top (always be on the lookout for those – those flags are like little warning signals that an unexperienced and super fast driver is making their way through the store) that both boys wanted to push. At first I thought about them sharing, but the look of joy and glee on their face was just too much for me to say no. So, I did it and let them each get a cart. And did I mention that they both like to move very fast? And that they’re both quite strong-willed?
Those two little boys marched through Trader Joe’s as if they were on a mission. They were determined to grab bananas and chips and whatever they fancied, but more than that, they felt big. They needed that cart pushing moment. They needed to know that I thought of them as big enough and would bless them with the opportunity to feel grownup.
It was work. And I don’t do it every single time because, well, truthfully, most times I don’t have that much patience to try to cart wrangle two of them at once. But, yesterday, it was worth it.
Part of parenting is letting go and letting them grow up. I know that cart pushing might not seem like the biggest growing up moment, and yet it was – it was me telling them I trusted them, and believed in them, and I let them have the moment.
Let them push the cart.
Or ride in that blue car in front of the cart. Just bring your hand sanitizer and be prepared to say excuse us and no, not that, and turn left and all of that while you’re doing it. Get yourself Starbucks when you’re done. But do it once in a while. It will be a favorite thing.
Want to know how I know? Last night, at dinner when we were talking about the best part of the day, my Elijah proudly said, when I went shopping and pushed the cart all by myself.
Those moments matter.
They really really matter.
That story, that hour in Trader Joe’s was a favorite thing. Some day I will look back and these pictures snapped with my iphone and I will be grateful. I’ll be grateful for the moment captured and the joy on their faces from pushing little red carts through Trader Joe’s. I wouldn’t trade chasing them around, making sure they didn’t take out the displays with their terrific cart speed, for anything. Nothing.
Sigh. Motherhood. It’s truly beautiful.