Today is my younger son’s 21st birthday. I know this sounds really trite, but it seems like only yesterday that he was a baby. I can’t believe he’s 21 – and I feel very old!
I was shopping for his birthday dinner today, and I stopped by the customer service desk at the grocery store to tell them what a great bagger I had. While I was there, I noticed the lady behind me, was using one of the carts that has a car in the front for little kids to ride in. Except there wasn’t a little kid. The car part was empty.
“Um, excuse me,” I said, “but do you know you lost something?” She laughed and made a comment about her child finding his way home eventually. I thought that was hilarious, and I was laughing when I went out the door. Because, that happened to me. Those car carts are really long, and you can’t really see what’s going on in the car part of the cart. So around, oh, 18 or so years ago, I was pushing one around the store with two little boys in it. I turned to look at something on the shelf, then went back to the cart and continued shopping. I didn’t notice that the cart was much lighter or that it was a lot quieter. I was just enjoying the peace. I also didn’t pay attention to the strange looks I was getting. If you’ve ever been a mom of small children – especially boys – you know what I mean. You just kind of enter into this fantasy world where you really believe your children have fallen asleep like little angels, and you’re enjoying five minutes of bliss.
After the third, “Cleanup on Aisle 7” message, I thought maybe I’d check the cart. Yep. Empty. While I was looking at the stuff on the shelves, the boys made their escape and were now terrorizing the store employees and my fellow shoppers. I quickly collected my kids and ran out the door. I think that may have been the last time I took them both to the grocery store until they were in high school.
In all honesty, though, my kids were – and are – amazing. I’m not sure what Mike & I did – except pray a lot – but they turned out very well. They’re both kind and good, they’re hard workers and have integrity and honesty that will carry them far. I’m so proud of both of them and I consider myself most blessed among women.
So -Happy Birthday, Wesley Cooper! I love you lots, and I can’t wait to see all the amazing things you’re going to do.