I made a Target run one night this week and it was evident that back-to-school season was in full bloom. That led to some interesting exchanges.
“If one of you is guilty, you’re all guilty,” a mom said to two boys – one of whom seemed to be about to spend the night for a sleepover.
“But what if you don’t find my fingerprints?” said the boy who was sleeping over.
Apparently, he was trying to find where his friend’s mom drew the line. The funny thing was, he was enjoying the banter. I loved the innocence of it all.
“In my house, you’re still guilty – fingerprints or not,” Mom said.
That caused chuckles all around, including from me, although, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what activity the boy might be talking about.
A few minutes later, a mom and her little girl were exiting an aisle. The girl was attempting to push the shopping cart.
“Turn right,” Mom instructed.
The little girl started to turn left.
“Your other right,” Mom said.
I literally scratched my head trying to figure that one out.
In another exchange between a small boy and his mom, he found something he wanted and was pleading his case for her to buy it. I couldn’t see what he had in his hands.
“Is it under $30?” she asked. “We’re already buying all these school supplies.”
He didn’t seem to know. And besides, what young child factors school supplies into the happiness equation?
The look on her face told me she was running the numbers in her mind. I’m sure she was balancing trying to accommodate her son’s want with the family’s bottom line.
All three moments were snapshots of motherhood. The first was a glance into a mom’s sense of humor about the way she runs her household. The second was a mother who wanted to gently guide her daughter who was probably just learning the difference between left and right. And the third was a mother who was balancing financial reality with wanting to make her son smile.
The one common denominator was love. All three kids will probably forget these moments (unless sleepover boy was found guilty by association). Maybe the moms will forget these brief encounters too. They were just snippets of an ordinary day. But as a single guy, seeing loving families interacting was a nice reprieve from so much of the bad news I try to avoid.