Life Lessons in the Frozen Foods Aisle

mctigue kids at the grocery store

The kids and I were shopping at the grocery store last week. It was one of those trips where they all wanted to talk – at the same time. They all wanted to ride, which meant pushing one of the giant carts so that they could take turns having one of the two available seats. They were a little bit silly and a whole lot of loud. So basically, business as usual.

We wound through the crowded aisles while I tried to remember what had even brought me to the store in the first place. I threw food into the cart, hoping that when I finally managed to get home and unload I’d be able to piece the things I was buying into something that would resemble a balanced, healthy meal. The kids chattered and bickered and giggled.

We were on one of the last rows in our rotation, the freezers stocked with pizzas and ice cream on either side. The aisle was surprisingly empty, save for a store employee who was stocking the case. The kids suddenly got quiet, and they all stared toward the man working just across the aisle.

I glanced up to see a man I’ve often seen there before. He was busily loading cartons of frozen goods onto the shelves, opening the freezer door using his arm. An arm that ended just below the elbow.

My mind raced as I considered the possible questions or comments that the kids might make in just a moment. I hoped they’d be respectful, but understood they were probably curious. In an instant I wondered how I’d respond; what would be the best way to explain things in front of a man who would certainly hear our conversation about him? Suddenly, one of my daughters spoke.

“Mommy? Can we get some ice cream?”

The other two chimed in. “Yes! Ice cream! I want vanilla. No, chocolate. It’s my turn to pick. No, I want popsicles!” The man glanced over at us and smiled as we moved on down the aisle.

Once again, my children remind me that sometimes we see what we look for. Instead of looking for differences, maybe we should spend more time focusing on the sweet things in life.

Image via Sara McTigue

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Life Lessons in the Frozen Foods Aisle

Sara McTigue is a secret agent, cupcake chef, award winning author, photographer, and PTA mom. At least, that is how things look in her mind. When she isn’t testing the bounds of her imagination, she is a mom to three amazing and hilariously funny children, wife to a charming and handsome man, and thoroughly addicted to reading. With a BS in English Education and an MA in English Literature, words – and their ability to shape our lives and thoughts – are an everyday fascination. Af ... More

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