Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sparkle in Aisle 3

It had been a hard morning.

It was the kind of day where you thought you were going someplace fun, only to find that half the place was closed, the other half too loud, and the claw machines just would NOT grab.

So I got everybody home and re-settled, the oceans calmed, and the lions tamed. After all, I had promised Joey could go grocery shopping with me, and I couldn't do that if he was in melt down mode. Even brittle mode would not work.

He wanted to go to the grocery so he could pick out "healthy food." Joey has been on a weight-loss kick, and he's been working hard to get his exercise and movement up and his diet healthy. Although the middle-of-the-night eating is still an issue, we have been working hard, and he has been working hard- down 20 pounds, and he's terribly proud of it. The last two weeks have been school-free, between him being sick and the Snowzilla of 2016, so he is really ready to go back- and has decided healthy lunches are to be part of the return to school. Lettuce, celery, carrots, low-fat cheese, sunflower seeds, and apples were on his list, though he also asked for chocolate milk, peanut M&Ms (peanuts are healthy, Mom!), and ice cream.

Once he declared himself ready, off we went. By the time we got to the store, he was positively beaming, though scripting. Excitement can do that. He was going to go to the store with Mom, and pick out his very own food for his very own lunches for school and he's going back to school tomorrow- very exciting. Across the parking lot, we talked about lettuce and celery and he doesn't like tomatoes, but trying some roll-up sandwiches might be fun, and no thanks to the salad dressing.

Once we got inside, Joey was totally on. He walked right up to the first lady he saw, a small woman trying to pick out crackers, and started.

"What's zero divided by zero?" he asked proudly, with his big smile. The lady gave him an odd look, so he added, "You can't divide by zero!"

The next lady chuckled, and played along; she got about five minutes of instruction on division by zero, multiplication by zero, and multiplication generally (77x12 is 924! 120 x 4 is 480, because 12 x 4 is 48, and then you have the zero, so you add on the zero!).

As we picked out cheese, and lettuce, and apples, I just let Joey be Joey. I let him talk to people, because he loves to talk to people and engage people. Some answered him and spoke with him a little. Some did not. No one was rude, or mean, or even just ignored him; they at least turned their head and smiled and nodded. So Joey let the sunshine out, and filled the whole store with it. I watched and listened to him in his joy, his desire to connect, his shiny, sparkly personality that loves all the world around him.

I wish we had more days like this. This is my son.

You're welcome.