We gathered our grocery items then looked at the toys because if everyone's good during the grocery shopping, that's the reward. We get to LOOK and DREAM about the toys for several minutes before checkout.
However, when we got to checkout my wallet was left in the car! Uggg - really this is horrible! I'd rather receive many forms of torture instead of leave the loaded cart in a hiding spot, get another cart to haul the kids out to retrieve the wallet, take kids out of the retrieval cart, walk and reload them into the hiding cart, and attempt to checkout again. It was my own fault!
It's close to 12:15 with no complaints of starvation. I'm tempted to print the Christmas card pic's but the fear of meltdown deters me to head for McDonald's inside Walmart first. I hate eating inside Walmart, but today I was desperate. A good move because the kids devoured everything in the 10piece nugget meal.
As they are eating Cooper asks me, "Hey Mama, why don't we ever buy the lunch for kids with the toy?" I respond, "That's a good question, But I've got a good reason for that Cooper. We have lots of toys at home and it's not healthy for kids to have too many toys. So that's why we don't get the lunch with a toy." He says, "Kind of like it's not healthy to eat candy for breakfast?" "Exactly, candy for breakfast is not healthy for your body and too many toys and things is not healthy for your heart" I say. He giggles because he thinks he understands and then proceed to mow down his fries.
Later on we strike up a conversation with an older couple seated behind us. They are eating McD's cookies and drinking coffee. A little quirky in a sweet way I think to myself. They chat with the kids and ask them questions about Christmas. We are all happy, fed and entertained by this lovely couple who then ask, "Which church do you go to?" I am a little amazed that they 1st ask the question so boldly yet casually and 2nd that there may see something in us that would warrant the question. I tell them the name of our church and the older lady says, "I just knew they were Sunday School kids. They are beautiful"! Then the older man says, "Yes I could tell, they just radiate don't they honey?" She nods.
I get a lump in my throat and my eyes go misty. I try to think of something to say before I lose it. I say, "That means so much to me, Thank you!" Allie is then on the go, so we clean up quickly and then say, Merry Christmas. I am pushing the cart to print the pictures, tears dripping down, nose running and embarrassed that a Walmart associate will stop me and ask if I need any assistance.
I don't think I'll ever forget this moment because of it's tenderness in such an odd place and time. This is the best yet simplest compliment towards child-rearing that I've ever experienced. It urges me to stay consistent, pray for them more, to try my hardest to not spoil them, to be persistent in preserving their innocence and get them to Sunday School on time ;) Later I tell Cooper in a whisper, "People can see if your heart is good, and those people at McDonald's could see that in you!" To Allie, I hugged her tight and tell her, "Mommy loves my good girl!"
Amazing that on the days that you need a little encouragement, God sends angels in disguise to give you just the lift you need.
NOTE: This post is not to fool you into thinking that my kids are little angels -
they are not and we have many hard days!
However, I have no shame in bragging on the Lord for his work in their lives
and his hand of guidance on Lee and I.