A week or so ago I was in Walmart. I usually avoid Walmart unless I need something specific because it is one of those stores that suck you into buying things you don't need. You go in for something specific and you come out with that ...PLUS some extra towels, 4 tubes of Crest that were on sale, an extra bag of dogfood, Christmas decorations that were 75% off, and new pillows. So if your motive for shopping at Walmart is to save money, forget it. If you really need all that loot, well, good for you. Me? I'd rather just stay away.
On this particular day I was there to buy a humidifier. As I walked throught the pharmacy area I heard children screaming, screaming, screaming. I looked, like everyone does, and kept walking, deciding to wait and check out the humidifiers later when things had calmed down on the pharmacy aisle. When I came back, though, the children were still screaming. Oh my goodness, now what?
A young mother with three children was trying to get prescriptions filled. She had one in the buggy, one in her arms, and one was on the floor near her feet, on a leash. Two of them were screaming to the top of their lungs. Onlookers were doing just that, looking on. Well, WWJD, I thought to myself? So I walked over to the mother and asked if I could help. Now, mind you, she is on her cell phone telling someone quite loudly that she is "completely overwhelmed", her insurance has been denied, and the children are still screaming. "Can I help you?", I ask. Suddenly her angst was covered with a big smile, "No", she says, "I'm fine". She's faking, of course.
She's not fine. I understand her hesitation to accept help from a stranger but how bad could I be with ten onlookers gawking at us? I just stay there beside her and start talking to the children to distract them. The screaming stops pretty quickly. She doesn't tell me to go away so I stay put. I ended up staying with the mom and her children for 30 minutes while all the insurance issues got worked out. The pharmacy was in error. There was no problem with her insurance. She was scared and embarrassed for nothing.
Victoria was three, Kaitlyn was two, and Jordan was 18 months. Daddy gave the girls their nicknames: Tori, KatieBug, and Jordy. I was so glad to learn there was a daddy. As I spent time with these kids I learned a lot about myself. I quickly constructed an entire story about them. I decided all of them were sick (and I hoped I didn't catch it) since mom was getting three Rx antibiotics, although they didn't seem sick. I decided they probably lived in a trailer without enough money to make ends meet. I decided mom would probably just keep having kids. I decided their mother might not know she could put their dirty jackets in the washing machine. I decided they probably didn't know how to budget their money as mom was using an expensive Blackberry....and I was using a $29.95 phone. I reasoned she should have a phone like mine and save that money she didn't have. Part of me wanted to go home with them and teach mom all the things I decided she didn't know. I realized how very judgmental I was being.
We all became friends over that 3o minutes. Mom, Brittany, thanked me sincerely. When I asked her if they were going to "try for a boy", she told me she had her tubes tied and wouldn't be having more children even though they loved these three profusely. She talked about having 3 teenagers at once, 3 proms, then 3 weddings. All the kids wanted me to hold them and I did. They wanted me to go home with them. They wanted to play with my phone. They were smart. They knew all about texting (at 3) and apps! Once they were distracted their tears turned to smiles and giggles and mom could get her business done. I loved every minute of it and I grew to love them in that short amount of time.
I realized that if I ever become a grandmother I will enjoy it immensely and I will make sure I don't tell their mother when their jackets need washing. Oh how quickly you forget!