Have I mentioned how much I love living in this little town? I have considered creating another blog just about our Abilene, KS and writing about all of the gems (people, mostly) I encounter here on the regular.
This morning was no exception: The Thrift Store. Our thrift store is run completely by volunteers, and all of the money that it makes goes straight into the food kitchen, which feeds families in our town. Also, the prices are about half of what you pay at Goodwill. I mean...no one is losing here.
And to make it better, the ladies who attend the store treat me like I am treating them by coming in.
"You kids can play with the toys all they want!" (Kid heaven.)
"How about I give your one-year-old a ride on this cart, so Mom can shop." (SWOON.)
"Wednesdays are the best days to come, because I work the checkout desk and I think things are too pricey here, so I mark them down." (Not making this up.)
Ok, here is what this post is really about:
As I was checking out, I was getting the typical questions and comments: "Are all of these children yours?" "3 boys! Wow, you are busy!" None of these bother me, and today I responded with, "I dream of the day I can come and browse without my children." (Cause, seriously, that's the stuff dreams are made of. Coffee in hand, $10 in my pocket, and garage sale prices.)
Well, guess whose 6-year-old ears were listening?
We get to the van, I am buckling in the baby, and Gabe says, "Mom, someday, Ben (youngest Engle) will be 18, and you will be so glad."
"Because he will be in college and you can go shopping alone."
Oh. Hold the phone.
Pause: (I am about to share the best mommy moment of my day. If I shared all the others, this would NOT redeem them. Just wanted to say that before you start thinking I'm great at this.)
I stopped what I was doing, put my hand on the sweet boy's face and said, "Let me tell you something. I could hire a babysitter. I could go back to work and have a break from you three everyday. I could make more money and have more awesome stuff. i could send you to school so I only have two little boys to take shopping with me. But I CHOOSE to be with you. I choose you. I want you more than I want peace and quiet and more than I want breaks and nice things. I want YOU."
Then, Ell piped up and said "Do you choose me?"
"Yes, I do. And I choose Ben."
And that was that. I really needed that reminder today. I am choosing this. I never wish I had chosen differently. Never. I just get complainey when things don't go smoothly....you'd think I'd be used to "not smooth" by now. I mean, "not smooth" is a good day.
There is no better choice than this life. I am SO blessed.