Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Cart

I guess it was about a year ago that I read a blog post by my friend Ashley. I was pregnant at the time I read her post. It was about shopping carts. She had explained that now that she's a mom of 2, she had become that person (sometimes!) that doesn't return shopping carts. On occasion, she has been known to leave her shopping cart in the parking lot. With two kids, a parking spot far away from the cart return, not able to leave the babies in the car to return the cart-- it's easy to understand why she'd occasionally have to just leave it there. When I read her post, I thought, "Hmm. I wonder what I'll do when Eisley arrives."

Well Ashley, I'm there. I have always been adamant about returning shopping carts, and I secretly judged people who didn't return their shopping carts and felt it appropriate to leave them wherever they wanted. No longer will I cast judgment.

It's a struggle. Do I unload the groceries, buckle the kid in, and then return the cart, leaving my child unattended? That never seems like a good option. I do at least have the option of unloading the groceries, taking Eisley with me to return the cart, then returning to the car to buckle Eisley in and go home. That would be so much more difficult with 2 kids. Sometimes it's exhausting shopping with my one 8 month old. Shopping has to be planned around feeding and nap schedules, and believe it or not, Eisley's getting pretty darned good at being grabby at the store. So to muster up the energy and effort to return a cart? Sometimes that's laughable.

Now I always try to park as close as possible to the shopping cart return. I get so excited when there's an open spot near the shopping cart return-- by my excitement, you'd think I'd won the lottery.

But 2 days ago, something great happened. Someone saw me with Eisley, saw me with the groceries, and saw me with the cart. That day, I had been unable to secure one of the coveted spots next to the cart return. This gentleman saw me and said, "I'd be happy to return that cart for you if you'd like."

He had given me a real gift. I thanked him. It's not impossible for me to return my own cart. It's just easier when I don't have to.

Next time you're at the store, and see a mom juggling kids and carts and groceries-- and you're in a position to offer a helping hand-- it may just be one of the great gifts of her day.


Ingram Gang said...

haha! Thanks for coming over to the dark side. I've often asked empty handed people walking by if they would like my cart. They are always enthusiastic about being 'given' a cart. But bless that sweet man's heart, I like people like him! :)

Things change when kids come along...

amberly said...

gotta love the evolving ethics of mommyhood. :)

glad for your rescuer! :)

Angela said...

LOVE THIS! 3 Kids is even more of a challenge. It just doesn't happen most of the time. ;) I figure there will be a day when I can help man-kind and return the cart. But, not today!
I'm always hoping for a friendly stranger like the one you found. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen as often as I think it should!
Mom-hood is fun, isn't it?!

Becca Barnes said...

This made smile a guilty smile--been there! The thing I miss most about the Publix stores in GA is that they have new mother parking spots right up front. It makes everything so much easier. With a second on the way I will be hogging those cherished Mommy parking spots!

Shelby said...

The same thing happened to me on monday. It was raining so I was trying to juggle Ryker and the umbrella, etc. A nice young man offered to take my cart and in that moment I was so thankful for his kindness. I will surely pass it on.

nonprofitprophet said...

I do that all the time, cause i'm just a saint. ~npp

Jessica said...

Ah the dilemma…park next to the cart return or park close to the door? It’s always a toss up for me.