For me, grocery shopping is a sure fire way to ruin my afternoon. Factor in a baby and a stop at a wholesale club store and it's a recipe for disaster. On a recent trip, the mercury was rising to 100 degrees as we tried to accomplish this task. First, the wholesale club was overcrowded. T's carseat completely blocked any view I had as I tried to navigate my way through the store to pick up a handful of items. One would think that people might see my limited ability to navigate and give way to a small woman pushing a cart with a baby on top, but sadly no. Over and over again, people cut me off and caused me to stop my cart abruptly all while holding onto her carseat so that it wouldn't topple out. Finally, approaching the register, I entered a self checkout line so that my crying baby wouldn't offend any cashiers. Of course, as fate would have it, two of my items couldn't be scanned. I couldn't tell if the sideways looks I received was because of Miss T's crying, or because I twice had to call for help with my order.
Finally, we made it out to the car. I stashed our items in the trunk (while pulling a muscle in my shoulder - really, I know its a great deal, but does dishwasher detergent have to come in a 5 gallon size?) and drove us over to the grocery store. Hoping for a more pleasant shopping experience, I put on our Moby wrap to "wear" Miss T (remember the 3-digit weather outside?). From the deli to the produce section, Miss T was all smiles and garnered a few oohs and aahs from fellow shoppers. By the time we reached the canned goods aisle, she was crying again (can you blame her? would you want to be running these errands on your weekend?). With many more sideways looks and eyerolls, I tried hurrying through the remainder of our shopping list. This was not easily achieved as my shopping cart would rather topple over than turn in any direction. At one point, I almost let it, just to make a point! I skipped the ice cream (even though it was BOGO free, so you know how desperate I was!) and speed-walked to a register.
With Miss T all out screaming by now, I was trying to get all of my items onto the belt when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see a sweet 80-something year old woman (and here's where my faith returned) offering to put all my items on the belt for me. I was nearly in tears I was so thankful. It figures that of all the people in the store that were completely capable of lending a hand, it was a frail little old lady who could barely stand that offered to help. She even suggested she stay with me so she could walk me out to my car and put the groceries in the trunk! I thanked her profusely and told her I could take it from this point. On my way out, I fought with the cart some more only to run into a store employee who then helped me bring the cart to my car and put the groceries in the trunk.
As I drove away, tears of gratitude filled my eyes. Despite how many times I thanked these two beautiful people, I don't think I could ever express my true gratitude. They have no idea what a light in the darkness they were for me on that day. I won't forget their generosity and I will remember this the next time I see someone else having a rough go. Instead of a nasty look, I hope I can offer some light and help them out too.