Even the simplest of routine activities is marked by before and after. “I haven’t done this, seen this, heard this since before…”
Saturday I went to the real grocery store for the first time since December 15. I say “real” because I did pop into Trader Joe’s a couple of times -- that’s manageable. But walking down long aisles in a cold, poorly lit store surrounded by more options than my mind has the bandwidth to entertain….I just haven’t had it in me. Add to that, I’ve been battling a sinus infection. So I did what I always do when I want to make any task more pleasant. I invited Charli to go with me.
I pass the dairy section and do not get milk. Chandler was the only member of our family who would drink it.
I used to run through the list of my at-home kids in my head as I would scan the shelves. “Chance, Chandler, Charli…would any of them like this?” And I knew if I got too much of something, or something no one else would eat, Chandler would eat it. He was like a human garbage disposal, not picky at all.
That list is a killer. I try so hard to amend it before I accidentally punch myself in the gut. It happens often. I’m about to send a group text about an upcoming family dinner, or I’m scanning the list, oldest to youngest, of where each of my kids are at any random moment (that’s what we do as moms). It goes like this: Chase, Chance, Chan
I catch myself. I hate it. I hate it so much. Sometimes tears. Sometimes I skip to Charli, the last name on the list, and keep shopping.
How long before everything I do is no longer marked by the date that is seared in my brain? How long before my list no longer punches me in the gut?
Charli and I fill our cart, pay, and schlep everything to the car. Neither of us needs to say anything. We both know.
It will be a long time.