Friday, July 6, 2012

Thoughts on Shopping With Assistance

Tonight my husband accompanied us to Weis for a grocery trip.  This isn’t exactly an exciting scenario per se, although if you have children you may disagree, but what was exciting is that we did this as a family.  My husband works away all week, so most shopping trips are done by me and Celie.  I will usually hit the store after a chiropractor appointment, or run up to the store on a Wednesday to do our weekly shopping.  This week, I had not made it to the store all week and come Friday, we are out of a couple essentials.  I had dinner ready when my husband arrived as is customary though not always done.  We ate and I had said about running into town myself, but we had decided to just all go up together because it wasn’t all that late yet.  So we set out for the store!  

Walking through the juice aisle and putting items into the cart, it really hit me.  I smiled and looked up at my husband. “This is weird;” I told him, “you’re here.”  He smiled and kind of laughed.  We took turns pushing the cart.  He watched Celie while I walked away to look at things and helped to keep her from grabbing every item through the aisles. For an anniversary treat, we picked out some ice cream, which is a bit of a guilty pleasure for both of us.  He was there to help decide what to pick out?  So strange.  We finished shopping and moved up to the check out and the craziest thing happened…he put all of the items on the belt.  He paid.  He took the lead.  I had a leader at the grocery story?  “Bye!  See you soon,” Celie said to the cashier.  We walked to the car, and even though I was pushing the cart like I did any other day Celie and I went shopping, another strange thing happened when we got to the car.  I put Celie in her car seat…and my husband loaded all of the groceries into the car.  Amazing.  It’s really funny how you don’t notice

Why is it always follow the leader?  Really, it’s a tag team effort like any marriage or two parent system.  When my husband isn’t around, I am the leader, but when he is home, we lead each other, I reckon.  He drove us home, and the oddest thing happened once we got home.  I took Celie inside, and then my husband unloaded all of the groceries from the car.  Unbelievable!   

This really isn’t much to blog about, but it really made me reflect on my gratitude while we were grocery shopping and it was a really nice feeling.  It was nice to not have to do everything by myself with Celie, although she is great company.  I am alone as a parent a lot, but I am grateful that I have my husband.  As hard as our lifestyle is, I always think about all of the single parents out there and how hard they have it.  It’s hard to be the sole provider of anything.  It's a label I don't feel is true.  I mean, it takes a village, but we all know what "sole provider" means, and even though people may have help, I imagine even with help to a single parent it must feel like you don't have any sometimes.  I feel an immense amount of pressure to fulfill both parental roles for Celie, and sometimes I don’t even feel as if I am fulfilling one to the best of my ability.  I am alone and I feel alone a lot, but I can not imagine what it would be like to have to do this REALLY alone, without a partner.  My heart goes out to single parents. I commend them for everything that they do to fulfill both parental roles.  It’s hard enough fulfilling one.  

I realized just how much easier it was to do things that I normally do alone with the assistance of my husband.  I don't need help, most people don't need help, but I enjoy having it.  I don't have that time in the evening where he gets home and can watch the baby while I finish dinner or tidy up the house or something else that needs done.  I don't have him to help me with bath time and bedtime rituals; Celie and I do these all alone.  I get her prepared, I read her stories, I tuck her in to bed, I collapse into the chair, I stare at the wall...I go to bed alone.  At least I am with my child and not in a lonely hotel room like my husband.  He must miss us just as much as we miss him. 

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