As background to this story I must tell you that I live in a little town called Enterprise in Southern Utah. It is pretty remote and has 1 grocery market, 1 hardware store, a post office, a bank and a gas station and that's about it.....really.... So in order to do any major shopping for groceries or anything else we have to drive to St George or Cedar City which are both about 45 minutes away. Since it's a trip to get there and back I usually set aside one day every 1-2 weeks to do my shopping and call that good. Needless to say an almost 2 year old doesn't always handle an entire day of shopping very well (and neither does his mommy) but we love living in Enterprise and Blake loves farming so we make it work.
Well Saturday morning was my morning to go to St George to shop. The night before I had been with the youth in our stake at youth conference and didn't get home til late. Nathan and Blake were up eating Trix and having a jolly old time when I got home so Nathan was a little sleepy the next morning (but lots of work was done around the house/yard and they had a great time so I'm not complaining). We headed to St George and made our first stop at Walmart. Nathan was an angel. He was pleasant and talking to every person we passed. As I was loading my purchases into the car I even had the gall to think to myself, "man, that was such a pleasant Walmart trip with Nathan. Today will be a great shopping day." Maybe what followed was payback for speaking too soon or just a lesson in humility for me. We stopped to get lunch and then made our way to Costco. Nathan was a little grouchy as it neared his usual naptime and he refused to get into the cart. He wouldn't really even help me push the cart which is usually my saving grace when he won't sit in the cart. He just wanted to run down the aisles and grab things off the shelf. I was trying to be really patient and just get in and out as fast as I could. We had gathered about half of the items we needed when Nathan saw something he thought was pretty awesome. Towards the back of the store there was a huge playground set up high on the top shelf and right next to it but on ground level there was a playhouse. He ran inside and decided he just didn't want to get out. I leaned over and tried to convince him that it was time to go. We had a party we needed to get back to Enterprise for and then we had to join the youth once again for youth conference that night so we were in a bit of a hurry. Well Nathan came out and made a run for it. He kept running around and around this little play aisle laughing hysterically that his mommy couldn't catch him. I've learned that the more pregnant I get (I'm almost 37 weeks) the faster he gets and that does not make a great combination at Costco with a thousand people on a Saturday morning. I finally caught him and tried to carry him back to the cart. Well, he lost it. TOTAL MELTDOWN ensued. He screamed the loudest, highest scream I have ever heard come from his sweet little mouth and honestly the 10 closest people to me stopped in their tracks to see what was going on. I tried everything I could to get him to calm down but nothing worked. At one point I put him back in the cart and he stood up and jumped. Luckily I caught him but I was so overwhelmed that I knelt down on the ground and just let him cry. He was inconsolable at this point and I wondered how we would ever make it out of there alive. As I was kneeling I kept thinking to myself, "am I honestly going to have another baby in 4 weeks? I can't even handle this one." Some people looked at me kindly like they just felt sorry for me while others were a little less kind in their "who let you be a parent" glares. I just kept praying that Nathan would calm down and that we could just make it out of the store. I picked him up (still crying mind you) and just held him while I pushed the cart. Really picture this....a huge pregnant woman carrying her screaming toddler pushing 2 weeks worth of bulk groceries (we Enterprise-ites have to stock up) with a small steady stream of tears rolling down MY face. I was humiliated. I started walking to the front of the store when a lady (probably late 20's/early 30's) came up behind me and asked, "can I help you?" I just started to BAWL (yes like a baby....right in the middle of Costco). I couldn't even speak. I was so overwhelmed at what was happening. She took my cart and said, "I've got 4 kids of my own and I understand. Luckily today they're not with me so I just really want to help you." She asked me if I was done and all I could say was, "well not really but for today...yes." She then proceeded to walk me to the checkout stand, unload all of my groceries and wait with me while I paid for them. Her husband came up and talked to Nathan and kept him occupied while I paid for groceries. She then WALKED ME TO MY CAR and unloaded all of my groceries and made sure we were okay. I never stopped crying...first I was overwhelmed and then I was just so grateful that she had helped me and that she was so nice to me. She talked to me as if we were old friends and just kept saying, "it happens to the best of us ya know. It's happened to me and people have helped and I just want to pay it forward." She truly was a tender mercy for me that day and I know that Heavenly Father really answered my prayers...not necessarily in the way I thought He would but in an even better way that taught me so much.
I just wanted to share that story with you guys because it really meant a lot to me and I hope that I can be just like that kind soul who helped me in Costco. She will never really know how grateful I was that she helped me. I may never go back to Costco again until I'm an empty nester but I was truly reminded of how many good and kind people there are in this world that is becoming increasingly scary.
Just so you didn't read that whole story for nothing here are some fun pics of Nathan.
Nathan feeding horses
Just licking his finger and dipping it in the sugar bowl. Our standards are pretty high around here.
All ready for church
I asked him to smile for a picture and this is what happened