Friday, May 13, 2011

The Cereal Bar Heard 'Round the World

All of my most poignant feelings seem to bubble up to the surface at the Stop and Shop.  Maybe it's because food shopping is so rote and robotic for me that my mind is clear to wander.  Or maybe, as was the case tonight,  the super market serves as a walk down a never ending memory lane, each aisle jam packed with food and products that remind you of another time in your life. Tonight I was usurped by a cereal bar.


My shopping trip had begun uneventfully, with me successfully completing a perusal through both the vegetable aisle and the fruit juice aisle.  I procured all of the family's favorite juice drinks without so much as a whimper, then I turned the corner into the cereal aisle and all hormonal hell broke loose.


As I reached for a box of Apple Cinnamon Nutra Grain bars, I heard the voice of my son when he was three years old and pictured him standing in front of an open pantry cabinet in his footie pajamas pointing at the box and saying "Dat Bar.".  That was it, I immediately began to cry real tears.  Confused by my own reaction, I continued down the aisle and tried to pull it together, but as I wheeled my cart, pretending to shop while audibly sobbing, I was hardly inconspicuous. Every person that I passed looked at me as if I had missed my stop on the short bus to crazytown.


To be quite honest, I have never been one to romanticize the baby years.  They were wonderful while they lasted, but they were also exhausting, demanding and maddening in some ways.  Every stage of independence was welcomed by me. 


So why the sudden nostalgic waterworks?  I think it's because the teenage years are kicking me squarely in the ass and while I know that my son is a really good kid, he is still argumentative (Mr. Cochran, your witness), willful and occasionally fresh mouthed(aka normal). Maybe it's not about my kids at all.  Maybe I'm finally struck by the looming inevitability of mid-life. I still feel like a teenager, but what self respecting 16 year old would ever fall asleep 20 minutes into a movie, drink flavored seltzer water or stop to consider the relative comfort of their shoes?


So have I hit the other side of middle age?  Am I officially no longer a badass?  I don't really know for sure, but I do know that as sure as Jewel sings like a deranged escapee from a Swiss Miss box,next week, I'm switching to Special K bars.

17 Your comments, banter and witty repartee:

Rachel said...

I love my weekly grocery runs to Publix. It's my own magical sanctuary where I get my best thinking done. I leave feeling refreshed and inspired! (Nuts, I know!)

Lin said...

I'm not sure it is our age that is what triggers it as much is your kid's age at the moment. I'm fine until I realize that my so-called-life is quickly ending and I'm slowly being eased out of my full-time motherhood job. That is when I start romanticizing things like the smell of new diapers and cereal bars. Sigh. It's hard to watch them grow up to leave us.

Carol said...

I refuse to believe it! I am still a badass, even as my teenager plots putting me away for good.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Passing by the Easter egg dye kits...yep, I get it.

Mar said...

"Oh so totally relate, as my 3 girls are now 19 and older...food always brings back memories...

linlah said...

Um, hello, you can still be a badass on the other side of middle age.

hokgardner said...

I don't think I've ever managed to be a badass, so I'm not missing that much. But I am missing my babies as the big girls get bigger every day - especially the oldest who rolls her eyes at me so hard I can hear it. I got all misty when she climbed into bed with me last night at the hotel, pooh bear in hand, just like when she was teeny.

And now I'm going to go cry again.

Susan Fobes said...

The littlest things can trigger this, although I'm sure the teenager angst has a lot to do with it too. BTW, try the Special K chocolate pretzel bars-yum! LOL!

FishHawk said...

"Diary of a Mad Bathroom" has been included in this weeks A Sunday Drive. I hope this helps to attract even more new visitors here.

http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2011/05/sunday-drive_15.html

Mommy Lisa said...

:0 Its all good.

If it helps about the teen sassy?? My five year old said to me last night, "I need a fork, HELLOOOOOO???" all full of the sass.

MiMi said...

Omagosh. This is me. I know this is going to happen to me. And I AM crazy...so...gah!

Linda Medrano said...

My grandson is 18 now. We've been around for all the ups and downs. But it's really funny. Him growing up did not make me feel as old as when my own kids grew up on me! My son is now 43 years old, which is amazing since I'm only 42.

Kate said...

I already get misty-eyed, and the kid is only four. I think it's something to do with childbirth, and the reaction can be delayed any number of years. Because physical pain beyond all imagination apparently is not quite enough.

Hang in there. Oh, and lest I forget to mention: FLAVORED SELTZER HAS FEELINGS, TOO.

Amy said...

I will SO be doing this exact same thing in 12 years. Having small children is so damn hard. You nailed the exhaustion and maddening feelings perfectly. Yet, I KNOW when my babies are older, I'll long for this time. Why can't we just be happy in the moment?!

BTW, I'm 33, fall asleep during EVERY movie my husband and I try to watch, and am in my PJs everyday by 5:30. Pretty kick ass, eh? It's a damn miracle I'm not at the Sizzler for the early bird special every day!

The Empress said...

How in the world did I miss this?

I could live in this post...

The Empress said...

Also?

known as SuperMarket phenomenon.

AKA the music they play.

Knocks you to your knees back in time.

I now go with my iPod. To ward off the evil memory demons.

400 Wakeups said...

A) You will always be a badass to me.
2) Even superheros need comfortable shoes.
LMNOP) You're not pregnant, right? Just checking. You never can be too sure y'know.
*) I would have seriously thought you made "stop and shop" up if I hadn't just spent a week in NY and been to one. Twice.

Here's to underwear instead of diapers and Councils of the Plague.

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