Monday, September 6, 2010

Second in a Series of Grocery Carts

We started an unintentional tradition the first time we dropped Boy#1 off at school and then ran to Wal-Mart for the last few items he needed. Six weeks later, when we went to Parents' Day, the final stop was at Wal-Mart, for the last few items he needed. And what's the old saying? It only takes twice to be tradition? (Or maybe I just invented that old saying, but it applies here.)

Now every visit to a college Boy puts a little more padding in the pockets of Sam Walton's heirs. A few observations about these bonding times:
  • There is only one constant in the shopping lists: The cart will always, every single time, contain deodorant and body wash. If we had to postpone the visit, I wonder, what would happen to their personal hygiene?
  • There is something comforting about walking the aisles of Big Box Store, and knowing that the brands, the store arrangement, and even the smells will be the same whether we're in Kansas, in Missouri, or in Texas. We've only run into this guy in one of them, but other than that, close your eyes and you could be anywhere. Even home.
  • This is the perfect opportunity, just before we wave good-bye again, for the Boys to bring out the puppy-dog eyes. In the past few trips the cart has carried steak (as if that were part of their regular diet), a puppy-shaped sunglasses case, and other items that at home would make me roll my eyes and say "Put it back." Last night Boy#3 scored a PowerCat shower curtain. What was I supposed to say? He had marched at the football game and looked really tired.
Part of growing up is being self-sufficient and I suppose in a few years this tradition will disappear. For now, though, we'll happily follow them around the aisles as they fill the cart.

Maybe I'll just throw in a package of Twizzlers.

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