The Look

I went grocery shopping by myself today, second time in two weeks. It’s like a mini-vacation.
When I was driving there, I happened to look down and see that my fleece jacket was completely covered in hair. I had worn the same jacket to take the boys for haircuts earlier in the day. I didn’t so much as sit down in the place but somehow attracted a mass of tiny hairs to my jacket. It was too late to turn around and change jackets and I wasn’t going to let it ruin my 90 minutes of alone time.
I took back a small fortune in cans and walked slowly through the aisles, enjoying every moment. I was feeling spontaneous; I put salmon in my cart. I’ve never bought salmon in my life, and in fact, I don’t even think I like it, but it seemed like a hip thing to buy. I decided, on a whim, to pick up a couple of yellow squash. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked squash (except to make baby food), but I like it and it seemed like something a hip person would buy.
After meandering my way through the store, I made my way to the checkout. I was able to go to my favorite lane, the one closest to the grocery area, because I checked out the express lane and helpful Shirley wasn’t there. I had no fear that I would be called over to the express lane with my overflowing basket.
As I was waiting my turn, I was suddenly hit in the head with a large ball. I turned around and saw a frantic mom with two boys. She apologized profusely and told me that she would have two grounded boys.
I wondered what she thought of me. I was at the grocery store alone and nothing in my basket would identify me as a “mom”: no diapers, no pull-ups, and in fact, I had cool things like salmon and squash. I had on my hairy jacket and really expensive jeans that I bought when I was in college. I don’t care that they are ten years old, my ass fits into them again so I wear them. I must have looked like a really cool cat lady.
I smiled at her and identified myself as the mother of three boys. We exchanged the look. When I’m out running, I always see other runners and we exchange a nod. It says keep up the good work. When we used to own a Jeep and we’d see other Jeeps on the road, we would exchange a wave with the other driver. It said I acknowledge your “Jeep thing.” The look between moms speaks volumes. It says I appreciate you trying to teach your children manners. It says I understand the gamble you make every single time you take your kids out in public. It says I have been in your shoes and I do not judge you.
We didn’t have to say another word.

About jillo31

I always wanted to write the great American novel. I've come to the realization that that may not happen. Instead, I'm going to write about my life as a working mom to three boys. I figure in ten years, I won't remember what these days are like. I want to record my everyday victories and struggles.
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