This afternoon I was one of those mothers at the grocery store. My boys were too loud. They were running all over the place, getting in other people’s way. Nothing I said – “Stop yelling! Don’t do that to your brother! Stay by the cart!” – produced any discernable results in them.
But honestly, I didn’t much care. Those boys – they were a joy to watch in the aisles of Safeway, 5pm-hyper and all.
One was a bandit. (A “fwendwy bandit,” said his brother.) He ran ahead of the cart on his galloping horse. He stopped to tell passersby “I’m a bandit!” and to ask, “Wanna see my bandit moves?”
(You do, by the way, want to see his bandit moves. They’re amazing.)
The other was a ninja. He spent most of the grocery trip holding onto the cart, which, according to him, was actually a bus. He’d step down, though, to display his ninja moves to our fellow shoppers whenever his brother was doing the same. And he’d come down to engage in the occasional (less occasional as the shopping trip wore on) tussle with his brother, the bandit.
They were loud, but they were loud with laughter and shouts of “Yaw, hawsie!” and “I’ll get you, you bandit!” They got in people’s way, but they also smiled and said hello. They spoke to people with openness and excitement. They danced and showed off their moves.
They made a friend in another ninja-minded little boy and told the boy’s mother, “Our baby ate a ladybug.”
When we got home and I’d unloaded the groceries, they called me outside with great excitement. They were having a moon party for me! (!!!) They squealed and jumped up and down and told me how they’d made a volcano that erupts in all different colors (“Watch it erupt, Mommy!”) because this was a moon party! They showed me the dance they’d been working so hard on, because this was a moon party! They clasped hands and bounced around the patio together and invited me to join in. As I left, they gave me pretend chocolate.
They came in a few minutes later, shrieking on and on and on that the moon had fallen from the sky. What a thrilling development! It was the perfect way to end what one boy described as “The best day ever!” though it most certainly was not.
Later, they told Daddy that next time they’d have a moon party for him.
Ours was such an unremarkable afternoon and evening – grocery shopping, playing outside for a few minutes, putting away food and putting it together.
Yet, they included so much I want to hold onto. The bright eyes, the squeals, the gallops, the excited faces – these are the moments worth remembering.