So often going into grocery stores with a big family can be a challenge. I also don't like getting a sitter just to grocery shopping. I shop at little amish stores as much as possible. But I do occasionally need to venture into the bigger stores with the whole crew. Today was one of those days.
It didn't start off very well. I finally had breakfast done, the house cleaned up and the kids all dressed and ready to go. Someone was supposed to put the wheelchair lift down, but listening promptly wasn't a huge priority this morning.
So we were all out by the van trying to lower the wheelchair lift. But we had no power.. so we called a neighbor for jumper cables. Apparently someone had left the lift turned on for a week, a week of not driving the van and the battery had died. sigh.
Finally on the road, but still concerned about the battery, especially since we need to operate the wheelchair lift for every in and out and we had a whole list of errands to run.
We stopped at the first store, GWood. The boys, both 10, were nominated to stay in the van, which we locked but left running. There were only a few cars there so I was sure they would be safe.
In the store, with a loudly singing, arm swinging, Nesiah in a wheelchair, another child who is 8, but was acting 2, one who was tired and grabbing EVERYTHING, and one was helpfully pushing the shopping cart, I tried to rush through my shopping list. I have someone making a bunch of freezer meals and HAD to get the ingredients today.
At one point we passed this older mennonite lady and one of my darlings attempted to grab something in her cart.. she looked a little disgruntled, I apologized and kept moving. The next aisle we accidently blocked the entire aisle with my entourage.
At the check out I realized I had forgotten garlic powder, which I needed for the one recipe. I was trying to maneuver the wheelchair, the grabby kiddoes, the grouchy kiddoes and the shopping cart through the one open check out line when I saw a shelf with some seasonings. I asked Elizabeth to fetch me a jar of garlic powder. It was within eye sight, but there were two carts between us and the rack. She was not impressed and after 3 tries came up empty. I was to far in line to go back myself for it and I KNEW I had seen it, but she was "unable" to find it.
I turned to empty my cart for check out. Frustrated because I need the garlic but not wanting to take my whole entourage out of line. I turned to find the lady, the same lady we had cut off etc.. earlier holding out a container of garlic powder for me.
Not only did she help me out. But something in her compassionate look told me she understood my frustration.
She was an older woman, shopping alone. She could have yelled at us. She could have complained. She could have rolled her eyes at the chaos we had. Instead she chose to reach out in compassion. It was such a small thing, yet so big to this momma.