I roll my shopping cart past the tvs, the diamond rings, and the suv-sized stacks of dried fruit snacks. I ignore the man attempting to sell me a cell phone plan and head straight for the book table. Unfortunately, my backordered Christmas present isn’t in stock here either. Oh well.
Next up: a case of water bottles and a rotisserie chicken. Then, blackberries, baby carrots, sausage. Oh, and a mega case of trash bags.
I wouldn’t call shopping at Costco thrilling, but it is satisfying. I can plunk down an enormous bag of ethically made chocolate chips and know that I won’t need to buy any more for another year. It’s deeply calming.
Today is the first Monday after the holidays and everything and everyone is back: back from vacation, back to school, back to work, back on the roads. My son’s teacher was in a (thankfully, injury-free) car accident because of unexpected black ice. Even the winter is back. A 70-degree Christmas day couldn’t hide the reality that winter on the East Coast isn’t really, well, 70-degrees. It’s biting winds, bad traffic, black ice.
But it is a day off for me, albeit one with a thousand small to-dos that I can’t ignore. The kid needs underwear, school snacks, and dinner. So I go about my day, plunking rotisserie chickens and five pound bags of baby carrots in my shopping cart. I pick him up at carpool and we do homework which covers addressing letters and medieval history. Subtracting nines is always meltdown-inducing, but soon the child’s suffering is over and he’s back to reading Jedi Academy. I roast the carrots and cut the chicken. He wants more food: bread and honey, peas, berries.
Daniel’s working late, so dinner is more unstructured than normal: today it’s Netflix and chicken. The distraction gives me enough time to eat in peace, load the dishwasher, and dry the last load of tshirts and jeans. Soon, he’s laughing at the fox’s shenanigans and I’m looking at clean countertops, put away groceries, made lunches, and clean clothes.
It’s a day with nothing special, nothing unordinary. But we have food to eat for today and a few todays to come. We have clean clothes and books, movies, and pastimes for the cold days ahead. And I’m grateful.