Skip to main content

The Lowes lady who made my day

I believe people come in and out of our lives for a reason, whether they step into your path and stay for a lifetime or a few years. Or maybe only for a college semester or a week at summer camp, or for just two days at a professional seminar -- or even for three minutes at a checkout counter. Sometimes you just need to pay attention.

Today I had one of those checkout counter experiences. I realized this morning that I'm in my 30th week of this pregnancy. Just 10 weeks left until Baby DeeDee makes his/her appearance. Which, at the pace my life has gone this past year, might as well be 10 minutes. And although I'm excited to meet this little gift, I've spent most of this past, oh, 25 weeks feeling incredibly anxious about the pregnancy and our new addition. Why would we upset the happy balance we have here in our family? Will Sweet Boy love and adore his younger sibling, or will he envy and dislike him/her? How will I be able to give my attention to two children, when one sucks up so much of my waking time? Will my marriage turn rocky right when we seem to have hit such a good groove? On and on and on my mind reels through these anxieties.

Anyway, this morning after some deep breaths to get through the 30-week-realization panic, Big Daddy and I went to Lowes to buy paint for the nursery. (Gorgeous dusky amethyst paint, by the way -- a color I can't wait to surround myself and my baby in.) The checkout woman, a middle-aged black woman with a friendly smile and orange-brown braids, commented on the paint color, how it was so soothing and soft. I mentioned it was for our new baby's nursery, and she got all sorts of excited about the idea of a new baby -- she seemed more thrilled than some of our family. She asked about my other children, and I told her about Sweet Boy, that he's 4-and-a-half and how we thought for a long time that he'd be an Only. And for some reason, this Lowes checkout lady's response put all my earlier oh-my-god-we're-having-a-baby-imminently anxiety to rest:

"Oh, how perfect! That's the perfect age difference! He's going to be a big brother who knows how to show love. And you let him have his babyhood, gave him time to be the one and only -- but now you can give this baby undivided attention, too, when big brother goes to school. Perfect timing, mama. You all are gonna be just fine, just beautiful."

So there I was, standing in the checkout line at Lowes, smiling and nodding and feeling a bit choked up at this stranger's effusive show of happiness and support for me and my family. Maybe she wasn't placed in my path by God or the universe or any higher power; perhaps I was simply looking for reassurance from any source I could find. Regardless of how or why, this little light at Lowes was spot-on today.


Popular posts from this blog

Boardwalk ghosts

“Imagine this, buddy, in the middle of summer, especially near the Fourth of July. Wall to wall people, just sort of moving in and out of each other. Flashing lights. Loud music. Screams from Morey’s Pier, laughter on the swirly rides. Oh...and the cream, funnel cake, fudge, cheese steaks, pizza, fries...the smells alone would drive you nuts!” 
It’s 5:00 on the evening before his Nana’s funeral, and we’re standing in a windy drizzle on an empty Wildwood boardwalk. My mind has flashed back to the summer of 1991, when I spent a week here with my best friend. Wicked sunburn. Tandem bike adventures. Water slides. Thrill rides. A ground-shaking thunderstorm. Friendship bracelets. College guys taking showers outside. Ice cream and VCR movies every night.

Back in the here-and-now I’m trying to explain to Zippy what this place is like when it’s not October. He’s been to Rehoboth and Ocean City and Old Orchard Beach, but none of those come anywhere close to Wildwood in peak season.…


Zippy and I hiked in the woods the other day, following the icy trails around Evergreen Cemetery. The cold air stung our eyes but the sun shone warm and bright, and it felt great to breathe fresh air. As he skipped and hopped and twirled beside, in front, and around me, I felt peaceful, happy, content. Until I realized the Womens' March is in a few days, I am going, and I don't know what to expect. I've never done anything like this, except for a few years ago at Occupy Philly, which was nothing compared to the numbers they're anticipating this weekend. The Women's March will be a peaceful protest, yes, but 200,000 is an awful lot of people in highly charged city during turbulent times. I felt anxiety creeping into my chest.

"So you know I'm going away this weekend, right? To Washington, D.C. For just two sleeps. Do you know why I'm going?" I asked Zippy.
"Because you don't like Donald Trump and he's going to be the President."

Look up

I walk a lot. Walking is one of the pieces of my Portland lifestyle that I value most, in fact: countless trails, parks, paths, and sidewalks that not only get me where I need to be, but also show me woods and sea and proud old homes and all sorts of loveliness. (I also walk past a lot of not-so-lovely in this town each day, but we'll save that for another post.) Sometimes when I walk through a quiet neighborhood, like the one over here along Clifton Street in Back Cove, I feel envious of single-family homes and yards and kid-friends playing together in the driveway. Other times in these same neighborhoods, I feel grateful for the ample parking and snow removal of our rental home, as well as for landscapers who cut the grass and landlords who come to fix the kitchen lights or replace the dryer when it punks out. When I walk through Evergreen Cemetery, often I feel contemplative, peaceful; its consecrated ground and hundreds of years of history soothes me. Other times I feel sad an…