GUIZERIX: Lessons learned in the produce aisle

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Last week, I was able to take an hour out of my evening to join my husband and daughter on their weekly grocery run.

With my demanding job, I am certainly blessed with a spouse who does the shopping and cooking — and happily so. For months now, going to the store has been a convenient way for my husband to get our toddler out of the house so I can have a moment of peace. It’s also, I discovered, become a bonding activity for the two of them.

Walking into Kroger, I had my list prepared, my game face on and the laces of my walking shoes tightened. We chucked the toddler into a (sanitized) buggy and set about on our run.

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I noticed our daughter was fussy — an extremely active child, she doesn’t sit still of her own free will and was making her opinion about riding in the shopping cart known. Still, I soldiered on.

By the time I got to the deli section, I realized my husband and daughter were still stuck in the apples. I turned around to ask why they weren’t keeping up the pace, and was treated to a “Come-to-Jesus” moment.

“Anna, this is an outing for Maggie. We have a routine, and right now she’s upset because we’re deviating from it.”

You could’ve knocked me over with a feather.

While I’ve routinely found the “submit to your spouse” part of our vows challenging in terms of not knowing when I don’t need to be the one in charge, I decided this time I needed to follow my husband’s lead. And wouldn’t you know, the strangest thing happened.

As soon as I stepped outside of the “go, go, go” mentality and started observing my daughter and her daddy interacting — and playing with her myself — I started having fun.

Thanks to a combination of social anxiety and general introversion, I hate the grocery store. But this day, I found joy.

Watching my husband tell my daughter what each item was, and watching her identify the color of every piece of fruit, and every cereal box, was just the antidote I needed for my supermarket dread.

Hearing her giggle when one of us would walk away from the cart and come back with a new item, or when we’d go “Fast! Fast!” down the aisle put me at ease.

To my little girl, and to my husband as well, I’m sure this was just another day at the store.

But for me, especially as my baby turns 2 this week and continues to learn and grow, it was a little slice of heaven.