Friday, November 13, 2009

"Little" things

This morning I got up at 6:00 a.m. as usual to get Pollito ready for school. C. reminded me she was working from home this morning which meant I got a special treat--grocery shopping BY MYSELF. Shopping by myself almost never happens and I do miss alone time. So I gleefully got Pollito ready as I made mental notes about what needed to go on my grocery list. C. has her Critical Race Studies independent study group, including one of her professors, coming over for dinner tonight. I like this group since I get to join in the discussion and I do miss this.

Anyway, I dropped Pollito off at school and headed to the grocery story BY MYSELF. I cranked up the country station, pulled into a spot right near the door, and took a few moments to double-check my list for tonight's menu. As I headed to pick up my shopping cart I marvelled at the things I am taking for granted these days that weren't a part of my day to day life in Boston. (Like finding a parking spot especially near the door and being able to pull into a school drive-away to do drop off!) Then I used one of those wet handi-wipes to clean off my cart and a dry wipe to dry it off. I had never seen those until I moved here. As I walked into the LARGE supercenter grocery story I was warmly greeted by two different sales people as they went about their work. I found every item I needed and some were even on sale.

As I was checking out (there were no lines) someone bagged my groceries and then offered to help me to the car. The young man at the checkout stand handed me a balloon for my daughter (she wasn't with me) because he remembered she LOVES balloons AND she "always says 'thank you' so nicely." The kid couldn't have been more that 20! It brought a smile to my face and once again reminded me of the culture we have moved from. None of these things would have happened on a regular basis in my old "world." The pace was so much faster there, colder (weather and people), and just less "friendly."

Of course, it is a trade-off. There we didn't have to worry about our kids feeling deficient because they only had two moms. We didn't have teachers assuming our sons' issues were because they didn't have a father. There we didn't have to worry about my having health insurance because both our jobs allowed us to cover each other and our kids, and our kids had classmates/friends with two moms, single moms, divorced  folks, and even two dads. There we had some options in finding a church that had the familiarity and tradition of our upbringings (United Methodist and Catholic--I will let you guess who is who...) AND was accepting of our family. It will come in time, we know.

As I pulled up to my street I noticed it was closed but the workman waved me through. I couldn't make it all the way to my house because I live on a cul-de-sac and they were re-paving it but my next door neighbor (who I rarely see/speak too) waved me into his driveway with an offer to park there as long as I needed. Then he helped me bring my groceries to my door. All things I can never take for granted because they just weren't a part of my daily life in the fast-paced big city that was home for 15 years. I felt refreshed and rejuvinated and oh-so-grateful for the little bit of time away from the kids. If someone had told me back in my single-no-kids-day that grocery shopping by myself would feel this good, I would have laughed. I'm a slow learner. Now I get it!

Yesterday was really rough! Probably it was mostly my fault because I gave in to Tortuga in the way that is so easy to do but always comes back to haunt bite me! He has been begging for more family time and because I had errands and prep for Thanksgiving to do I took them all to two different stores. It was awful. Full blown meltdown, shouting, hitting, pushing, etc. It started in the store with hiding, sulking, making faces, incessant talking, and verbally attacking Corazon. I cut my shopping trip short but I wasn't fast enough. By the time we got to the car he had that fight/flight look in his eye that told me he was considering bolting. I "pinned" him against the car with my body so it looked like I was hugging him and whispered to him to try and talk him down. I was meat with drool, spit, and screams of  "I am warning you!" I was so grateful that it was near dinner time and the usually busy T*rg*t was not so full. He did calm down enough to get in the car but the ride home was excruciating. The other kids could tell because even Pollito stayed quiet. As soon as we got home he bolted to the door and started banging on it for someone to let him in. I had to leave the sleeping toddler in the car while I got the rest of the kids into the house. As soon as we got in the door he verbally attacked me and then attacked me physically (but luckily he is not that strong so he is more bark than bite) and kept saying "Just wait! I'm gonna k*ll you!" in that voice that sends shivers down one's spine. I was surprised at myself for staying as calm as I did and the other kids just steered clear. It took over an hour for his meltdown to be over and immediately afterward he was apologetic and crying. One of the first things out of his mouth after he calmed down was "Why weren't you my mom when I was Milagro's age?" I told him I wish I had been able to be his mom when he was little but that we were both supposed to learn something from these experiences and they were part of God's plan to make us who we were supposed to be. He seemed to accept that and asked if he could do his homework now.

I think this qualifies as progress.


Lisa said...

Shopping kid-less. Priceless!!!!!

So sorry for the shopping trip yesterday. Those are awful. BTDT got the t-shirt. Ugh.

Ashley said...

I feel like I'm in your boat with the groceries- I am discovering the joy of shopping with my partner, but *for* ourselves- The brands and quantities we want (and can afford!)

As for Tortuga- well, I don't have much to offer here except a "Hang in there" looks to me like you're doing great under crappy circumstances

Christine said...

Today we had the "I wish I was white" conversation. Mar struggles so much with being different, and it really causes her to tank.

ldw said...

Ahhh, shopping alone! Lingering over the produce, squeezing the fresh bread, getting everything I came for - HEAVEN!

Sorry about the meltdown...and the heartbreaking questions that follow. Love your response to him -although it sucks that children even have to ask such things.

BT said...

I got to go grocery shopping without kids on Sunday afternoon, and can fully relate to the version of heaven that is! So blissful to be able to hum along with the music and make choices without 70 thousand questions assaulting my ears.

So sorry to hear about Tortuga's meltdown. Boy, do I know that look that says "thinking about bolting." It's awful. But he came down from his meltdown fast AND was apologetic. Those represent big progress. So a pat on your back for that. And one for keeping your cool the whole time.

J. said...

sometimes living in country/smaller towns is a good trade off for big city life and sometimes not so much

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