Monday, May 18, 2015

Thank you un-named hero

All smiles after she dumps the root beer all over herself
Friday I had one of the worst ideas I had EVER had! I needed to go to Costco on the way to pick-up Josh from work, on our way to a double date in Salt Lake. I was dropping my kids off in Salt Lake so my cousin could watch the kids while we went on this double date. So I packed up all five of my kids to venture to Costco BY MYSELF! I hate shopping with all five of my kids by myself. I would much prefer either Josh come with so one can shop, and the other be on crowd control, or I would just rather do it by myself, or preferably the grocery fairy would just come and keep the fridge and pantry full!
I really didn’t think we were going to have to be in Costco all that long—I just needed a few cleaning supplies, and a handful of shelf-stable goods. We decided to eat first. As soon as we get our food, someone needs to go to the bathroom. I plead for them to hold it until after we eat. Luckily this time, they could. After our elegant cuisine, we head off to the bathroom, me begging each one of them to try since we were already there. After that was taken care of, we head down the aisles.

Did you know that Friday afternoon at Costco is almost as crazy as Saturday afternoon? It was packed, and the samples were out in full force. I know most people LOVE the samples, but with eight little hands that want to TRY the coconut water and the artichoke hearts, it is a living nightmare for me. Gagging on samples I told them they wouldn’t like isn’t fun! Besides then having to find a trash instantly, spills, whining that something is too spicy etc. is not my idea of an easy shopping trip. Not to mention the fact that if we do stop at a sample stand (there wasn’t going to be any complaints about the Oreo cookies or raspberry filled doughnuts they were sampling on Friday) me, my cart, and my entourage, block the whole flow of traffic.
Amelia saw the stand of pretty dresses and decided that she would rather hang out in the middle of the clothes rack than follow me around the store. I noticed she was gone after we had gone down an aisle, so I snuck over there—giving the boys strict instructions to stay with the cart and watch the baby. I get close and I hear her singing to the dresses, as she pets each and every one from the inside of the rack. I part the clothes and yell boo—which was my biggest mistake, now she thought it was funny. I was trying to scare her! Backfire! Well, the boys thought it was funny that I was sneaking over there so they followed me, leaving my baby across the store unattended. I barked orders at the boys to go back to the cart, and grabbed Amelia’s hand firmly to march her over there as well. She was having none of it and went as limp as a rag doll. I obviously had to back to the cart to make sure I still had a baby, and didn’t have time to care what a soul thought of me. So I drug her limp body across the dirty floor. I get back to find the boys climbing on the sacks of sugar, and finding little “chairs” in and among the merchandise. The baby was still there, thank goodness!

The rest of the trip followed course. Quite a bit of running, climbing, punching, etc. every time I stopped to read a label. We still had our soda cup from our lunch and they kept fighting over who was going to hold it. At one point someone set it in the cart right next to the baby. That girl has quick hands and grabbed it, luckily I have almost as quick hands and grabbed it from her before we had a tragedy. I asked Turner to find a trash and throw it away, he begged to be able to finish it and I said, “On one condition that you don’t set it down next to B.” We were getting close to done when Cooper tells me that he needs to go to the bathroom—he had just gone at the beginning of the trip. I begged him to wait and luckily he thought he could hold it while we waited in the ginormous line.

After check-out I decided to join Cooper and told Turner, Max and Amelia to keep their hands on the cart at all times. As soon as I sat down in the stall I hear Turner come in freaking out because someone had set the soda down next to B and she had spilled it all over herself and the cart. I instructed him to grab some paper towels and I would be out in a minute to help. I walk out there and he had emptied the paper towel dispenser all over the floor. We cleaned up the mess and then I had that only-at-Costco-feeling—WHERE DID I PUT MY RECIPT?!?! I found it and instantly the kids started bickering about who was going to hand it to the check-out person. I decided it was my turn.

We head out to the van, I am so relieved that it is over. We are parked at the front of the store, and a couple parking spaces down is the handicap ramp so I ask my kids to get into the van while I go down the ramp. Well, I had purchased a huge 10-gallon bucket of rolled oats, and they had set the box of all my small goods on top of the oats. As I head down the ramp the box starts to teeter, I go to grab it a fraction of a second too late and the box tumbles off and spills all over the parking lot.

I was about to cry. A fancy BMW pulls up and a very well dressed man jumps out and helps me pick-up my items. I tell him it isn’t necessary, but he assures me it is okay. Then he offers to carry the box over to my car. “You’ve got your hands full with a baby.” He hadn’t yet seen my other four hoodlums climbing all over the van a couple cars down. I look over at his car and there is a woman in the passenger seat with her arms folded and a scowl on her face—noticeably annoyed. I thank him profusely as he sets the box down on top of crumbs and dirt in the back of my van (why did I forget to vacuum out the trunk last time I cleaned my car!) He said you’re welcome, and my superhero was gone.

The nameless man was a hero to me that day. It took him only a few minutes, but I am still smiling at the thought. Could I have picked up the box myself? Of course I could. It was that in a very frustrated moment for me, someone that didn’t even know me, cared enough to help me out. I think it is what Christ would do. Of course He knows all of us—none of us are an un-named to Him. This man was His hands at that moment. He helped me, in that moment, to not feel so alone and to offer a hand of kindness. I will never forget him, and what may have seemed as a small act of kindness to him. It was a big deal to me.

I want to look for ways to be an everyday hero to someone else. 


  1. Great post! Loved the details in the shopping trip. I can ditto them many times over :) I have yet to venture out with all 6 kids by myself for the very reasons you listed. Thank heavens for little heros! What blessings they are! :)

  2. Oh, I would be crying or swearing or both. This is exactly why, I can't shop any more, with kids, well, I guess it happens to me occasionally that I shop with kids. One too many comments/ looks/lets step in front of the lady with kids falling apart in the line, one too many night mare. Bless that man's dear soul. That act sounds like it burned on your soul forever. You remind me that I have had one grocery store hero, but not so dramatic, but she saw that my cart was so full and no room for the three boys I had, and she pushed my cart out and I was able to take the boys out to the car. I am sad I had forgotten about it, but glad you reminded me. These acts really do mean the world and I am glad for your reminder to be looking for moments where we can be that someone for someone else. Emily


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