I have a tradition that I’ve started with my kids. Every Saturday morning is grocery day — first to Costco, then Trader Joes (added since Samuel was diagnosed with Celiac Disease), and then Target. Actually, let me back-track, first we head to ballet to drop off those older girls. And then, on with the errands.
It’s easier and faster to go by myself.
It’s relaxing — really.
But I don’t go alone.
I take one of my fabulous kids with me. We kind of rotate through them and one gets to hang out with me at the store. And, despite the extra work it is so worth it.
This week I took Elijah, my three year old with — and here is what he said.
1} We’re going on a grand adventure! Those are Elijah’s words to me as we drove at 70mph down the freeway to Costco. His little face, eager and excited about the adventure he was about to embark on. How I was reminded that to him, my three year old, life is an adventure — and I shouldn’t forget that for myself.
2} This is terrible. These were Elijah’s words as he stepped outside the car into the absolutely freezing wind-whipped Saturday. And he was right. It was so cold — way too cold for mid-March. Somehow hearing him express disgust over that sub-zero windchill made it a little bit better.
3} I found them! I found them! I found them! Words expressed as Elijah found the blueberries in Costco’s big walk-in refrigerator. Then I saw the price –$7.99. For blueberries. Then I saw his face. Grinning. Excited. His little legs jumping up and down. Those blueberries? In my cart. With one happy boy — and grinning people all around.
4} Sisters will be so happy. As soon as the blueberries hit the cart Elijah told me that now sisters would be happy because he got blueberries. That $7.99 pricetag just vanished.
5} How ’bout I push the cart for you? And by that I mean the little cart at Trader Joes. And that’s just what Elijah did. We were slow. Very, very, very slow. But, Elijah learned to steer, to say, “‘scuse me,” to back up, and to unload his cart. And he was so happy. Could I have just made him walk by me? Yep. But, not today, not on his day. So we took a bit longer. And that’s okay.
6} Don’t forget Sammy’s suckers!!! And those would be the $2.99 gluten free suckers at Trader Joes. Which, by the way are all gone now. Completely. All 29 suckers. And I think that Elijah ate 21 of them — while I was on the ballet run to pick up Hannah and Chloe. As dad did some work Elijah sat, oh so quietly, in the kitchen, carefully peeling plastic wrap off of those suckers and chewing them down. Oh well. They were natural. 🙂 At least Samuel got one — I hope.
Now, today, two days later Elijah still talks about his adventure. The trip that took at least 45 minutes longer, but those 45 minutes were full of wonder, and joy, and laughter, and adventure. It’s worth it, my friends. Those little ones that we are blessed with can teach us so much. If only we are willing to listen, to give time, and to remember that they are only young once. Time is fleeting. Grab onto it — and let them push that cart!