This is not one of those oft-shared posts about my twin toddlers throwing tantrums, causing me to lose my cool in the stationery aisle.
No, actually, it was just yesterday. And I was by myself. I’d run in on my lunch hour, my girls six-and-a-half and no doubt having a blast with their first grade classmates at that very moment.
It wasn’t the sight of those precious little baby clothes…or, conversely, the fact that I made a quick pass through the “big kids’” section and didn’t see a thing I’d buy for my girls. It wasn’t walking by the card section where my girls used to love to stop and point out pictures of cats and dogs. I even made it past the SAHM with the cutest little kid in her cart, cooing to him as he rattled something at her.
No, I made it through the store, what I’d come for (and then some) in hand. It was after I checked out that my eyes welled with tears.
The checkout line was oddly desolate, and my two favorite cashiers were working registers side by side. “How are the girls?” they asked. I told them how the girls were having a great time so far in school, and how they had their first soccer practice that night. With smiling eyes they listened. “Tell them we said hello!”
I made it partway to the door, when I decided to turn around. The two ladies by then were chatting with each other. “I’m sorry to interrupt you,” I told them, “but I just wanted to thank you.”
I made it quick, as my eyes were tearing fast, but I told them how thankful I was to have brought my girls in to see them since they were infants in their stroller…how I always appreciated their kindness and the way they engaged my girls so genuinely…how I was grateful to have shared my girls’ joy with them.
It’s one of those things I’ve thought many times, and I finally took a moment to say it aloud. The ladies were very gracious, of course. (And then I hurried on my way before my tearing up turned into full tears.)
It’s not just these two ladies at Target. It’s the lady at the post office, the people who work in the produce section of the grocery store, the folks at the bookstore. Living in a smaller town (and perhaps being a creature of habit), we have frequented many of the same places since the girls were born. I love that the girls have grown to know some of these people in our little world. I love the sense of community this illustrates to them, the kindness that often surrounds us if we only pause to let it in.
Yep. I cried at Target. And our sweet little ladies were there to witness it. And that’s OK.