Well.. that was embarrassing - pull it together

A typical Saturday - my normal grocery shopping day.  No big deal - I had a list, a few coupons; wasn't even a rush.  Ran into a friend in the produce - a quick hello and how are you?
Continued on through the meat section, passed by the bread aisle, then the soups and canned vegetables... and then it happened.  I sure wasn't expecting it - I wasn't at all prepared for it - If I could just find my friend from the produce section, she could talk me through it...
Just like every other week for the past 25 years or so... I reached for the blue box... the blue box of macaroni and cheese... and just as soon as my hand grasped the box, I felt that moment when you just know this is going to get ugly... FAST.  Hold it together, Susan, take deep breaths, think good thoughts.  It began as just a gulp, push that crazy feeling down in your gut!  This monster of emotion simply overtook me.  The gulp became a sniffle... the sniffle become a quiet tear... the quiet tear become a sob... and the sob became an out of control... trying to control... which made it even more out of control... sputtering, noisy, embarrassing wail.

The older lady riding the scooter approached me.  I had helped twice already... once finding 'baby' sweet peas - not those big mushy one; then on the next aisle as she couldn't reach the bowtie pasta on that high shelf.  She gently scooted closely and asked, "Honey, are you okay?"

"Yes  ma'am,"  I managed, "It's just.... just... (another dramatic sob).. it just that I'm not buying macaroni and cheese today - I DON'T NEED IT!"

She didn't quite get it, so I gained a bit of composure and tried to quickly explain that my last child had left for college three days earlier, and for the first time in a very long time, I didn't need to buy macaroni and cheese.  She giggled a little, and simply said, "Oh, dear, you will have many more times to buy and cook that macaroni and cheese - you better keep a box in your pantry... "

Well, of course she was right.

But can I just tell you, I certainly did not expect to have an embarrassing, empty nest, sad momma moment in the pasta aisle at the grocery store!!  Like some of you that have moved a child (and, yes they are children!!) to college in the past few weeks, I've read many of the "how to let your child go",  "how to allow your child to grow up", "how to help your child adjust to independence" and "how to keep the lines of communication open" articles.  They are all helpful.

As I finished putting the groceries away at home on Saturday afternoon, I had a few moments to think through the day, the week, the year, the chapter.  Frank and I have been parenting a child in our home for almost 30 years.  We have taught, we have disciplined, we have parented okay, we have offered thanks, we have parented poorly, we have apologized, we have advised, we have challenged, we have encouraged, we have laughed, we have cried, we have sobbed, we  have cheered, we have prayed... and the truth is... many of those "we haves" will continue... but more than anything now, we will pray... for our children, for their friends, for our grandchildren, for all those we have the privilege of influencing.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ... Philippians 1:9-10

 So, if you see some 50something lady sobbing in the mac and cheese aisle, just smile and tell her to buy it anyway...

and then we may or may not have spent the rest of the afternoon watching home movies...


  1. I am smiling because you have just given me another reason Kyle will not be going away to college next year. Sending virtual hugs. Jill