I’ve always heard that how you behaved as a child will be reflected in your own children. Now my parents will gloat my sister and I were good, dare I even say great, kids about 98% of the time. Like any child, we had our moments, but they were few and far between.
My 2% of reckless childhood behavior all took place in department stores. I found it to be a thrilling adventure to hide amongst the racks of clothes at Belk, Hamricks (that’s a throwback), and department stores of the like. There was something comforting about wrapping myself in a variety of cotton-blend garments.
While I found it to be therapeutic, it caused my mother an immense amount panic. She would pace back and forth throughout the store calling my name. Little did she know, I had my eyes on her the entire time.
As soon as she found me, she didn’t yell at me, but I was the recipient of the “mom look.” The “look” that will stop any child in his or her tracks and cause them to crumble in fear. I never truly understood why she was so upset with me; until the moment my kid took off into the racks.
We recently went to our local Belk to return a few items. This was the first time we really went out on a shopping adventure as an entire family; the four of us. My husband was at the counter making the exchange with the sales clerk and I was overseeing the little ones.
I bent down to pick up our newborn’s muslin blanket that had fallen onto the floor and when I popped back up, my two-year-old was no longer at my side. It’s amazing really, how fast the mind can go into a negative headspace when your child has vanished. There were a series of 99 horrible scenarios that raced through my mind, but I took a deep breath and remained calm.
I heard the faint giggles of a red-headed little boy muffled by what seemed to be piles of clothes. At that moment I had a flash-back of spinning around in the center of the clothes rack with my arms stretched out wide. I took action and searched for a little pair of feet in size 6 black canvas sneakers under the racks.
At last, amongst the women’s leisurewear, I saw two chestnut brown eyes peering through Lily Pulitzer-like workout pants. I was instantaneously relieved when he popped out of the rack that I hugged him and then gave him the “mom-look” that I had been accustom to when I disappeared into a world of textile bliss. Just like when my mom would give me the “look,” my son stopped dead in his tracks and slowly turned to me with apprehension.
There’s a saying, “Karma has no menu. You get served what you deserve.” I was definitely served what I dished out to my parents in my youth. To my mom and dad, I apologize. I now fully understand the torment that takes place when you can’t find your child, even if they are enjoying the true bliss that is the clothing rack.