People are funny
Tuesday February 04th 2020, 10:42 am
Filed under: Life

There was a young mom at Trader Joe’s yesterday with her little boy in the cart. He looked about four. It was close to dinnertime but he was cheerful and bubbly and absolutely adorable. We crossed paths several times and smiled at each other.

When I went to get in line, they were just back of the line but not getting in, as if they were waiting for something. She was working at keeping him entertained.

Well, hey, so I opened my purse and went looking.

I caught the mom’s eye to get her approval, and said, penguin finger puppet outstretched, that we’d been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and I’d showed one of the penguins my penguin and it had followed it around, like it was trying to figure out how it had gotten so small.

The little boy was delighted at the story, so with another nod to his mom first to be sure I handed him his own and said, Happy Birthday!

The mom was startled: Wait. Really?! How cool is that!

I tried not to be too in-their-face from there and got back to my line and paid attention to the clerk starting to reach for my groceries, but it just totally made their day.

And then the little guy got really excited. Grandma!!

Grandma, an African-American woman about my age, was coming out from the back and off her shift and dead on her feet. (While I thought, ah, that’s why the mom looks familiar–she looks like her mom, who works here.) It had clearly been a long day. She had had it. She was just done. Get her out of here.

But here were these two excitedly telling her about penguins and this penguin and they all turned to me as the grandma’s face completely changed. They waved.

They headed out, and now I (finally) noticed a woman with a daughter of about the same age standing back to back with me in their line, so I offered her one for her daughter, too.

She looked at me like I had three heads and said no, a bit offended.

Well that’s fine.

I told the clerk, I just got fifty of these in the mail.

He laughed warmly, understanding better now how all that came to be.

The second mom was getting into her late-model BMW next to my ’07 Prius as I came out, saw me, and was out of there.

But I knew a grandma was smiling out there who’d needed that.

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