I saw her today.
Take that back...I heard her.
Take that back...I heard them.
Though, I don't think "children" would be the word she would have used to describe them at the time.
More like "terrorists".
I was in the Christmas section at my local Target buying tape (of all things).
I heard the talking.
Take that back...I heard the screaming.
Talking in "scream".
It was loud, completely unintelligible, and nonstop.
I left the Christmas section...meandered over into frozen foods.
I heard them still.
Then they got closer.
I mumbled under by breath, "Shut Up!!"
Then I stopped myself...took it back.
As a mother myself, I should be more understanding.
But I couldn't. It didn't stop.
They stopped. I walked over to the checkout.
Got in line.
There they were.
It started again.
Claw your eyes out, loud.
I saw the mother.
Frazzled beyond belief.
She tried to speak calmly, but I could feel her about to burst.
And then she did.
Not at the boys...at the cashier.
A sweet old woman who forgot to put the mom's ornaments into a large bag as she had requested.
"I NEED THESE IN A BAG, I SAID!!"
She had broken.
She knew it.
She took a breath...and then spewed out 1,000 apologies simultaneously.
"It's just these kids are driving me crazy."
The cashier understood.
"I know honey. You just have a Merry Christmas."
The cashier gently touched the mom's arm.
We all understood.
She looked back at me with sadness in her eyes.
I nodded and smiled sympathetically..
The "I know. I understand. It's okay" reaction.
She walked away. The boys were still screaming.
"That woman is a saint." I said to the cashier.
"Yes, she is" she replied.
I walked out to the parking lot.
Mom was loading the van with her purchases. The hatch-back was open...one of the boys was halfway crawled into the trunk.
Still screaming. Both of them.
I gave her another sympathy smile and nod.
What else could I do?
Now that I think about...she probably could have used a hug.