Thursday, November 13, 2008
Grocery Store Snapshot
So, part of my nanny duties is a weekly trip to the grocery store- buying food for 5 kids and their dad is quite an event. Usually 2 or 3 kids like to go with me; on occasion all 5 like to come.
(Yeah, I let 5 kids go grocery shopping with me- I have a soft spot when it comes to these kids.)
This past week just the 2 boys went with me. We had to run some errands in a different area of town, so we ended up going to a different grocery store than normal. It was my first time to ever take them there. As we pulled up they both said they remembered going here with their mom. Once we got inside they said they totally remembered it and were so excited. I can't tell you what joy this brought me to hear them say this. Anytime they mention memories with their mom I want to capitalize on the moment.
Austin just celebrated his 5th birthday when his mom started her downward spiral before her death. Alex was 6. When I think about these little guys I know that they are not going to have many memories of their mom. In fact any time I can help preserve a memory, I want to do so.
The longer I live, the less and less I remember my own mom. I have what I call "snapshot" memories of her. I can remember different scenes in my mind, almost like a mental photo, of times we spent together. Usually they are just ordinary life memories, like baking homemade bread with her and getting my own little mini loaf or going to get treats after she would get her hair done. And oddly enough, I even have my own grocery store memory of my mom from when I was 5.
As a child I was extremely shy and super sensitive. One day we went to the grocery store and there was a lady at the front of the store with long black hair that was teased out. She looked like a witch to me. By the time I hit the produce aisle I was in tears because I thought this lady was really a witch. My mom tried to comfort me and assure me that this lady was not a witch. She told me that she had a little boy next to her and that she was a mommy too. I didn't buy it.
Well, my mom was not going to let me get away with thinking this lady was a witch. So she told me that I had to go over to the lady and say hello. It must have been quite a sight for an onlooker, but my mom took my hand and we walked over the lady and said hi. (keep in mind I had not stopped crying this entire time) Then my mom made some nice comment about how cute her son was so that we did not look like complete idiots and then I remember the lady smiling at me. We then excused ourselves and made our way back to the produce aisle.
My mom said that we can't always tell what a person is like on the inside by looking at their outside and now we could see that this lady was not a witch, but was actually a nice mommy.
I may have only had 11 years with my mom, but when I stop to reflect on my mental snapshots, I realize that she deposited so much love and character development in me.
I pray for lots of mental snapshots for Austin, Alex, Alyssa, Amanda, and Ashley, too.