I spent almost an hour casually strolling the aisles of the grocery store. I marveled at the varieties of something as simple as milk. I looked at new products that may or may not have been food. I studied the changes in packaging and the subtle reduction of quantity in each and every prepackaged food item. I scowled at the shelves packed with artificial sweeteners. I drooled at the increasing number of fruits in season. I made certain that there was something in my cart that each of my children like to eat. I mentally calculated the food prep time in relation to each day’s schedule of activities.
Small children waved at me as we walked past each other. Adults smiled or laughed out loud and I imagined that they were kindred spirits enjoying the splendor of treasures that is a grocery store. The visit was surreal in its normalcy. Even the cashier and bagger were all smiles. “Did you make your necklace yourself?” I looked down and realized I was wearing the necklace that Evan made for me. (“You look prettier now Mommy.”) I smiled and explained that it was a gift from my 4-y-o, thinking that they already knew that. I was mistaken. “Well, everyone likes to make their own jewelry these days.”