They were Bowsers today. Tornado E was a sliding Bowser. Tornado S was a hop-hop Bowser. Obviously Tornado A was a climb-out-of-the-cart-and-land-head-first Bowser. At least he was trying to be. As the hero, I foiled his plans one after another by sitting him back into a sitting position with a firm “no.” This is the reason why I don’t slide three feet to a stop, I don’t ride the shopping cart, I don’t spin the cantaloupe on my fingers or toss things over my shoulder in the basket; I don’t want to give the boys any ideas. Parenting is such a joykill.
As Tornado E slid and twirled around people and Tornado S hop-hop-hopping, having people hop out of his way, I hummed No Doubt’s “Underneath it all,” reminding me that they are lovely and I’m really lucky. At least it was drowning out . . . oh God it’s Britney Spears. How many things left on the list?
I stood in the cereal aisle, trying to do math, debating if the four for ten and free milk was really cheaper than the generic brand and paying for milk. All the while, I kept an eye on the boys telling them to move out of the way and we are not getting that cereal or that one and no, Tornado A, sit down.
Older gentleman: Three boys?
Me: (smiling. Please don’t scold me; I’m doing the best I can) Yes.
Older gentleman: (smiling) They are quite a handful. You’re very lucky.
Me: Yes, they are. (a chuckle) And yes, I am.
Older gentleman: We had five boys. All of them a year apart. Except the baby. He was two years apart.
Older gentleman: Once there were so many of them in diapers. (chuckle) I had a wonderful wife, and she stayed home, and I worked. She was amazing. There were years when the refrigerator light was never off.
Me: It must have been a busy, full household.
Older gentleman: It was. Enjoy them. They are blessings. And you are lucky.
We looked over to watch my boys dancing to music they could only here.
Yes, I am. All they’ve got is me and somehow I’m full of forgiveness and I guess this really was meant to be.
Me: Thank you.