When Evan was four years old, we wound up pulling him out of preschool for various reasons. What followed were some of the best times I have had. For five months, I looked forward to each and every day spent with my boy while the older kids were in school. I knew full day kindergarten was looming overhead, and I was going to miss my little buddy.
Do you know those little carts they have at the grocery store? I never paid much attention to them until Evan pointed them out to me. At his prompting, we walked up to customer service and asked how Evan could get one to push while I shopped. All it took was my driver's license, and he was off. After that trip to the store, Evan would be so excited to go shopping with me. As I pulled into the parking lot, I would hear his little voice from the backseat, "Do you have your license, Mama?" Evan turned the mundane task of grocery shopping into a day at the amusement park. The joy in his eyes is something I will never forget. Instead of rushing through the store just ticking items off my list, we would talk about different shapes and colors of packaging. Evan would count out the fruits and vegetables into plastic bags and I would lift him so he could weigh them on the scale. He would tell me about all his thoughts and four year old dreams. Evan would push his little cart overflowing with groceries and I walked next to him with my big empty cart. I will treasure these shopping trips with Evan for the rest of my life.
Kindergarten came and went, and my Evan started growing up. Every time I went to the store I would glance over to the customer service desk and reminisce about those months when Evan was my constant companion. One day, when Evan was about eight years old, he came shopping with me. As we pulled into the lot, he asked, "Could I still get a little cart?" As much as I wanted to let him get one, I knew he was too old to be seen pushing a "Shopper in Training" cart around the store. It broke my heart to say no, wishing back those days when he was four, pushing his little cart next to mine.