Could You Put My Groceries in Paper, Please?

Karen Phillips Smith, Contributing Writer

As a young mother my days sometimes felt like they were 24 hours plus and at other times I felt that there were not enough hours in one single day. Each day I would get up sometimes as early as 4:45AM so that I could shower and get dressed before the children would start waking up. This may sound strange, but because I had a career that sometimes took me away from my children for so many hours during a given week, I cherished every moment I could spend with them.

I tried to make the times we spent together the best I could possibly make them. I even made-up games  to play with my children as we made our way through the grocery store each week. One cart filled with the two boys and another pulled behind filled with groceries. One day the boys and I were playing a game of “I Spy” as our caravan of carts traveled down the aisles of the store. We had just arrived and taken our place in the line at the checkout counter when my son Jeff called out, “I spy something blue.”

At that very same moment I felt this unbelievable rush of warm liquid fall to the floor beneath me,  soaking my socks and shoes and forming a puddle on the floor around me. Although many witnessing this event may have been shocked or confused by this occurrence, I knew from experience, that this was all part of the natural order of things and was merely a sign of my daughter, Shea’s impending arrival into the world.

You know how they tell you that in highly stressful situations your adrenaline starts to pump and your subconscious swings into action to help survive. Well, I am fully convinced that all those protective mechanisms flew into action that day, because after rescuing the fellow behind me in line who almost passed out, I calmly asked for a mop or some towels so that I could clean up the puddle. Of course, no one would allow me to clean the floor beneath me, they were fully convinced that I was going to give birth right there on the spot. The man behind me now fully recovered from his fainting spell insisted on paying for my groceries and driving me home. The manager of the store offered to call an ambulance, and everyone continued to ask me to sit down. Although I am not sure what any of these generous suggestions would have accomplished.

After I managed to bring some simulation of peace to this chaotic crowd, I politely asked the bag boy to please put my groceries in paper bags, I then paid the cashier, whom I might add still had her jaw resting on the floor, walked out to my car with children in tow, placing the children safely in their seats while two men hurriedly placed the groceries in the trunk of my car. Driving the speed limit all the way to our house, the children and I arrived and together we brought the groceries inside. Just as we were putting the last grocery item away my husband drove into our driveway. He told me that the manager of the  store, who knew my husband had called him at work to advise him of the day’s events. We arrived at the hospital in plenty of time that day and at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month I gave birth to a beautiful red headed baby girl who is still making entrances.