It had been a long, difficult day with the kids, so by the time my husband came home I was very irritable and I told him I needed a break. Apparently he was irritable too, because he said I could take a break while I was grocery shopping.
So there I was, sulking and pouting as I stomped down the grocery store aisles, grumbling to myself. "So much for a break! Who goes grocery shopping for a break! Hey, let's go to the spa. No, wait - even better - let's go to the...GROCERY STORE! It's so calming there. You can really recharge while deciding whether to buy salted or unsalted butter!" I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.
And then I saw her - the mother who was shopping with her three children. One of them was actually rolling around on the floor in the middle of the aisle. Two others were chasing each other around, and while doing so knocked a big cereal box off the shelf. She had that look on her face that I have had on mine countless times; the 'if I could just be somewhere else right now I'd be happy' look.
Suddenly I realized that in fact, it was a break to go grocery shopping without any children at all. It was wonderful! Blissful! I was free of all distractions. I could read labels! From the beginning to the end! I could compare the nutritional value of cornflakes compared to rice cereal, without having to listen to cries of, "I'm hungry!" "How much looonggerrr?" "I want to buy that box full of sugar covered in candy and rolled in chocolate!" It was a beautiful thing.
I pushed my cart along, and sighed happily. "Mmmmmm. How relaxing! Maybe I'll get a coffee and linger over which roasted chicken to pick up. And I'll be back....same time tomorrow."