When my daughter and I pulled out of the garage this morning for swim practice, a bright full moon shone in clear night sky. After many days of grey skies, rain, and then snow, the air has finally cleared. It’s been scrubbed clean, and we can see beyond our atmosphere. We can see into space again.
For some reason, swim practice today is 5:30 – 7:30 am instead of starting at a more reasonable Saturday time of 9 o’clock. There must be a swim meet at the aquatic center to work around. Saturdays are my main chore day at home: grocery shopping, changing and washing putting away linens, putting all the groceries away, cleaning out the fridge to put all the groceries away. My husband usually takes our daughter on Saturdays, and I work on my chores.
When I saw the time for practice this weekend, though, I saw an opportunity to get the shopping over with early. It’s cold enough outside that nothing will spoil if it has to sit in the car for an hour while I wait for swim practice to finish. I can be done with my most detested chore by 9am and have the rest of the day to do whatever I want! And, by doing this I can give my husband the gift of sleeping in. Or at least not having to get out of bed and leave the house at such an ungodly hour on the weekend.
I dropped our daughter off at the side door of the aquatic center and drove around the corner to the 24-hour Kroger. I saw several other swim parents at the Kroger, some in pajamas, one with a hand-held basket, none with a full-on shopping cart. One mom with hands in pockets (ie, with no receptacle for groceries — she was just going to be picking up what she could carry) saw me and said, “Are you doing your full shopping trip?!”
I weaved in and out of Kroger employees stocking shelves and felt like I was being chased by the woman polishing the floor. Every aisle I was on, she was on my heels with the loud whoom whoom whoom of the giant buffer she pushed around the store. When she wasn’t on my heels or coming at me from the opposite direction, I always knew where she was. I could hear her machine under the sounds of stockers cutting cardboard boxes open.
I filled my cart from the list I made last night, then checked myself out at one of the tiny self-checkouts, playing Jenga with our food to fit it on the little platform for groceries that have already been scanned.
I rattled my cart across the empty parking lot under a setting moon, gleeful to be done with the shopping. Now I’m sitting in Panera with a ceramic mug of coffee (not a paper cup!), watching clouds pink in the sunrise. After I publish this I’ll have a few minutes to read before I go pick up our daughter. It’s 7:13, and I have the whole day ahead of me.