Inner Rock Star

Photo By: Carrie

The cart, child-size perfect for you to shop like a grown-up and do what I do. Made of metal, heavy and constructed well. A blur of red, as you blaze through the aisles, paying attention only to what catches your eye.

I ask you what feels like 100 times, slow down, take a breath, it’s not a race, hold on, keep your head up, be careful of others, it is a privilege to use this cart, it can quickly be taken away. You do your little dance, make silly noises, tell me “Uuuhhh, I can do it, leave me alone”.

I take the breath I offered you, offer myself some encouragement too. Continue to check items off my list, eggs, apples, yogurt, and slip in a few extra treats. My mind is continuously rolling through the list, I know you are behind me, ah there is the bread.

SLAM! A sharp pain grows deep in my leg. Am I bleeding? Can I walk? Anyone going to say anything?

There are many witnesses to this accident but all are frozen like statues with no way to break free. Time is standing still no one is there to save me.

You are turning red, afraid, tears welling up in your eyes, I am in serious pain, my bare heel aching, I’ve lost my breath I know it is here some place. The silence, stillness, break in the routine feels like so long although only seconds are passing. No one steps in, offers condolences or a lighthearted moment to ease the tension and the pain.

I am on my own, as it feels I always am in moments like this, alone, unprotected, exposed, suffering. I lower my head, hand to my chest, feel my breath reminding me it is here. I hear it loud and clear. I say nothing, I just start to move, yes I can walk, forward it is.

I look back after a moment, you are following me, not crying but worried trying to find the words to say, “Are you okay?”. I stop, let you catch up, get down on one knee, it feels good to let the weight off, my heel now pounding though not bleeding, that is a relief.

I ask you if you know that you really hurt me. You say yes, quietly, then you squirm off my knee. We still need milk and butter the emotions between us thick and sticky. You stay close, slow your pace, see more than just what you want to see.

As I put the last item in my cart I hear from out of no where “Excuse me, you are a rock star!”. A mom with a two-year-old sitting in her cart, she saw everything and wanted to make sure that I knew that she saw me. She wondered emphatically how did I mange to stay so calm, stay within, not let out my hurt, throw it all over my son and stand up for my heel, my body, that was so hurt. “If I was in your place, I would have screamed, no question.” A genuine smile washed over my face, the simplest answer is that today, gratefully, I am in a good mental place.

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11 comments

    1. Thank you Laura 🙂 It is a California Morning Glory. My neighbors have the most incredible California native plant landscape. I am going to share some more of the treasures I found in their yard soon.

      1. Oh good! Looking forward to it! We will be relandscaping within the next month or two…it’ll be nice to have something to photograph in my own yard. We just moved here and it needs redoing. lol

  1. I hate those little carts, and the giant stroller-like ones too! Thankfully I’m past all that now, but in my opinion things like that just make the grocery store experience more stressful.
    Glad you’re okay, and that someone chose to speak up and say something positive. My younger boys have a lot of kinesthetic energy (is that a nice way of putting it?), and I have such a hard time keeping my cool when they hurt me, even if it is accidental. it’s a tough thing, the very physical nature of mothering.

    1. Being hurt, by anyone, let alone your own child is such a soul suffering thing. You are so right, the physical nature of mothering is so tough.
      Those carts are such a pain! But, they are really fun for my kids so I try to only go to the store with them when I need a couple things.
      I was so surprised how my first reaction wasn’t to yell in that moment, I totally thought it would be. I have been participating in a 21 day meditation challenge and I could honestly feel myself go within, take care of me, give myself strength and I was okay. Even after we left the store and my heel was so sore I wasn’t resentful towards my son, it was really incredible! I was so grateful, I know he isn’t malicious, just excited at his new found freedom to explore the store. But still, it is so easy to feel victimized and try to protect myself in that moment, so challenging!

    1. I appreciate that! My self-control is highly depended on how well I am taking care of myself, I have learned this lesson over and over since having my boys. I let my self-care slip all the time. It was really an amazing thing to be in the moment and able to stay “in it”.
      I am so glad you get my thoughts on this photograph. It is so wide, expansive, open and yet so incredibly detailed. I love the little openings in the center, so symmetrical and gorgeous!

  2. Such an honest description of a small but momentous event between a mother and child. I am glad you were rewarded for your self control in the name of mothering. You deserved it. I think your son is lucky to have you.

    1. Thank you Janet. Yes, it was a small but significant moment in our relationship. I am a firm believer that my boys, in some capacity, chose me as their mama. They teach me so many things each day and as I have found over and over, all I can do is support and appreciate their souls yearning. It is quite an opportunity!

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