After the exhaustion of staying up late for the election results and two flights home from New York City the following morning, Jaime Primak Sullivan went straight to picking up her kids from school, making snacks, doing laundry, helping with homework, and taking her daughter to basketball. In the 50 minutes she had to go grocery shopping at an unknown store with her other two kids, she went from almost having a breakdown to being reminded by a stranger that she should enjoy the crazy and noisy years while she still can.
The closest grocery store was the new Pig in Crestline. Max, Charlie and I walked in and immediately they saw flowers, then balloons, then free samples. Here is where I lost control, my system breaking down — they were giddy, touching everything, and not at all using their inside voices . . . meanwhile, I was lost. I had never shopped in the store, so I couldn't find anything. As I navigated the aisles the repetition began. "Can we get popsicles? Can you hold my balloon? I'm Hungry! Can I eat this?" I was hanging on by a thread. Finally, after the fifteenth time asking them to quiet down, stand by me, stop touching everything . . . my face dropped. My chin slumped to my chest. I was physically and emotionally exhausted.
Two soft fingers reached out and lifted my face. "Chin up dear." An old woman, easily 80, dressed as nice as nice could be with beautiful pearl earrings and set hair smiled warmly. I smiled back. "I'm so tired," I said. She looked at my babies, laughing and chasing balloons and said, "We're all tired. It's just a matter of what we're tired of. I'm tired of silence. My husband is gone, my children are grown, and most days I don't hear so well, so for me, this noise is nice. Enjoy it while you still can."
I thanked her and went on with my shopping. . . . I felt incredibly thankful that she felt a call towards the human connection and acted on it. Lord knows I needed it.