To the moms in Target that helped gently usher me into the world of school supply shopping: thanks for the solidarity.
They must've heard the undertone of stress in my voice as I navigated my way, mocha in hand, through the school supply section. WHY couldn't I find the 24 count Crayola crayons? Every other count was there, but the list said 24-count and by golly, I was going to follow that list. How dare my husband suggest the 48 count; we aren't a family of rule-breakers.
The first mom smiled and guided me to the long-lost twenty-four count crayons and wished me luck as we started our adventure. I returned her wishes with a nervous chuckle and an "I'll need it." She had just finished her list and was hightailing it outta there.
Things were okay and I was owning this whole mom of a kindergartener gig. I checked off our items going down the list and filling up our cart, enjoying my coffee while my husband followed. Life was good.
And then it happened. The list said we needed a pencil box, and surely target wouldn't let me down now after all we've been through together. I turned to my husband and demanded to know where the pencil boxes were, because surely the man who avoids target like the plague would know where they were hiding.
In sweeps mom #2 who had also been looking for a pencil box. "They were over here, but they've already been picked over." Not the answer I had hoped for, but rock on sister, I hope you find the pencil box you're looking for, too.
Wrapping up our list and my emotions started to kick in. Oh no, not here. Hold it in, I told myself. Play it cool. Then my child had to make the decision of what color folder he wanted.
"Are you sure you want to go to kindergarten?" I said joking, not joking. "Oh yeah!" he grinned and I looked up to mom #3 giving me that half-smile and head nod letting me know I'd be okay. I gave her the smile back that said: "I'm not so sure".
Target, you know I already loved you, but I didn't know I could find solidarity walking your aisles for school supplies. I'll forgive you for running out of pencil boxes, but next time lets work on that, ok?
And next year when I'm walking that section as a seasoned pro, and I see that new momma trying to make her way, I'll be the one showing her where the packs of giant glue sticks are as I give her the same smile and nod that tells her she'll be okay. We're in this together momma's.