Friday, August 21, 2015


"We're going grocery shopping today." I say.
"Okay! Let me get ready!" says Ava.
She comes down in an Elsa dress-up dress, leopard print converse, and three bracelets. She asks for a braid, of course. To complete the Elsa look. I braid her hair and we load up in the car.
We pull into the grocery store parking lot. I help Ava unbuckle from her car seat and she hops down from the car into the parking lot. We hold hands as we maneuver across the asphalt. As we get closer to the store, she always asks, "Can I sit in the rocketship cart?!"
"Of course," I say.
I reach for one of the bulky carts with the plastic rocketship seat. It's blue today, and hard to move. I manage to get it out, and pick her up and place her in front of one of the wheels.
"Blast off!" she cries, joyfully.
"Blast off!" I repeat back.
The rocketship cart is cumbersome. It's annoying, in fact. Giant and yet not enough actual cart space for all the groceries. But every week, we use it. It brings a ridiculous amount of joy to Ava. She loves grocery shopping with me; she is always happy and cheerful and polite at the store. She drives her rocketship, she writes her own lists, she helps pick produce and cereal. I am happy to give her this cart in exchange for a happy shopper. I am happy to let her ride, because it won't be long before she is too big for the rocketship cart. And I want to hold onto to these little things for as long as I can.
Ava dresses herself everyday. She's done this since she was about 2 1/2.  Many days she chooses dress up clothes. Elsa, Ariel, Rainbow. Crowns, sunglasses, gloves. Hair bows, usually more than one, mismatched socks on purpose. She inspects each outfit in detail and is always satisfied with how they turn out. "I look stylish!" is a daily refrain in our home. And with confidence like that, she's allowed to wear those clothes as we run errands.

She gets looks sometimes, and very occasionally comments. But I have no desire to take away her confidence in her choices. I have no desire to take this carefree, complete and utter happiness from my child. Not ever. Because it's likely, someday, she'll want to wear what everyone else is. She'll follow the trends of teenagers, and not want to go to the grocery store with me. But until then, we'll walk hand in hand through the grocery store parking lot, with a crown on her head and talking about choosing the color of our rocketship cart.


1 comment: