Never in a million years did I expect all this crying as a mother. It’s often at the grocery store, when I’m alone with all those mothers I talked about from Target last month: https://thesuburbanchronicles.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/target-time/ . I am totally convinced there is a D.J. who sits upstairs at the Market Basket where I shop. I am guessing he has a big picture window and when the store is full of saps like me, he cues some song sure to set us off, then quietly chants “sell, sell, sell.” All the mothers walk up and down the aisles, glazed over, mouthing the words, filling our carts in a robotic sort of way.
This morning the song was the modern version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. I am sure you know it:
“Oh someday I’ll wish upon a star,
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me,
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me”
I was in produce when the song came on, heading back over to dairy, where I’d forgotten the yogurt. My knees felt weak, and the memories flooded in. I had just left volunteering in Hadley’s kindergarten class. I’m acutely aware of “lasts” as Spring unfolds, and this year will be no different because my youngest will move on to first grade. I thought about why I wanted to cry at that very moment. The reason is this: everything that seemed like it would never end is gone so soon. Nine years ago, in that very same store I had to leave $200 worth of groceries in the cart to physically carry my 18-month old out to the car when she came apart at the seams. I wouldn’t wish that incident on anyone else, but there are moments I sometimes wish it back on myself.
Just when I felt the hot, burning tears at the outside corners of my eyes, the song ended. What better to change my mood than Making Love Out Of Nothing At All by Air Supply. I was momentarily back in the cafeteria at Barrington Middle School for a Friday night 7th grade dance. I had a crush on Chip Baird (along with half the girls I knew), and he did not even acknowledge that I existed. I can’t say that I blame him, as I had a mouth full of aluminum held in place by about 6 rubber bands at a time, finished off with a set of nasty head-gear that looked like a chastity belt for my face.
As I briskly pushed my cart towards the checkout, I belted out the lyrics, feeling totally unaffected by the two ladies stocking salad dressing in aisle 1 who were curiously staring at me. Then I thought about my older daughter, who will be in 5th grade next year and a huge grin came over my face. My how I’ve come full circle.