Sunday, March 11, 2012
Slice #11- Unloading the Groceries
Every weekend I go to the grocery store. And come back with somewhere between $200 and $300 worth of groceries. So that my kids don't starve to death in the next week.
Most weeks, if they are around, the boys help me bring the groceries in from the car. After that, they usually disappear. And I unload all of the bags and put the groceries away.
The last few weeks, however, have been just a little different.
Three weeks ago, after we had carried the groceries into the house, my oldest son stood in the middle of the kitchen. "You need to leave me alone,"he said, "just go somewhere. I'm going to do this."
"You're going to unload the groceries?" I asked.
"Yes," he said, "but you need to leave me alone. I'm serious, just go somewhere else."
"OK," I said, heading for the basement to do a load of laundry.
Twenty minutes later, I came back upstairs. The groceries were, for the most part, put away. Granted, they weren't all exactly where I would have put them, but they were put away. And I didn't have to do it.
Last week the same thing happened. It was the first weekend of the month, and I had been to the grocery store and also the local food warehouse. I had a ton of stuff. But once again, Son #1 unloaded everything.
Today when I came back from the store, the boys came out to unload the car. This week, I thought we might be back to our old pattern. "I'm going to carry stuff in," said Son #1, "but I'm not unloading it. That's too much work."
"OK," I said externally. My inner voice was saying, "Darn!"
The boys carried the groceries in from the car and I started unloading. About three minutes later, Son #1 was back.
"I'll help if you need it," he said. "You do as much as you can do, and I'll do the rest." Then he turned and went around the corner toward his bedroom.
"Hey, Zay," I called, "I've done as much as I can do."
My son turned around. "Get out of here," he said. "I'm going to do it."
"Yeah," he said. "I'll do it. You can go do something else."
And so once again I left. And once again, he unloaded all of the groceries, all by himself. And once again, things are in somewhat unusual places, but it will work. Things are put away. I didn't have to do it.
And now I am sitting here. Writing my slice. Thinking about my sweet, sweet guy. What a great man he is growing into. How crazy I am about him. And most of all, how much I am going to miss him. Starting in August. When he leaves for junior college, 800 miles away. I'm going to miss him. Who will unload the groceries?