The grocery store used to be sort of fun. Aisles and aisles of food possibilities. How could that NOT be fun?
Then I got pregnant. And everything made me nauseous.
And then my baby was born sick. And life changed. And so did the grocery store.
I used to try to take Sadie with me to the grocery store, but the car screaming was too much to deal with, and then she wouldn't calm herself down when we got there. And she hates being in the ergo carrier. So, now grocery shopping is part of Sadie's weekend time with daddy, while mommy leaves by herself.
Now, when I go to the grocery store all I see are children. Everywhere I look are healthy, happy children. And families who have no idea how lucky they are to have those healthy, happy children. They grab things off the shelves, they ride in carts, they throw fits, they chase their siblings around the produce section. All while I try to hold my tears back.
Lately, I've also seen many pregnant women. Women who, like me, have no thought of bearing a disabled or sick child. Women who expect everything will go perfectly...like millions and millions of births every year.
It's hard for me to not cry. I can't help but still live in the world of what if. I look at those little babies and toddlers and think about how life SHOULD be for us. It still makes me sad.
And when these parents yell at their children for misbehaving, I smile. Because they have no idea how lucky they are that their children are ABLE to misbehave.
I wonder how many of the people who come to the grocery store are like me, they've left their special needs child at home because it's just too hard to bring him/her out in public. I think if I ever run into a parent at the grocery store with a special needs child in tow I might just run up and hug them!
And as I leave the grocery store, checking my receipt for my savings, I breathe a sigh of relief out in the parking lot. I'm thankful that it's over and I can go home to my reality. To my screaming child who needs me. And I don't have to wonder (as much) about what life would be like if Sadie were "normal."