Sometimes I really think I need adult supervision.
I went to Target to pick up a prescription and decided to just get the few grocery items that I needed right there and then. Stupid decision, it turns out, since every other person in the state of Indiana had the exact same thought at the exact same time.
But I regress.
At the checkout line...oh, first let me explain that my Target has a very strict policy against opening any more than two of the eighty-five lanes they have to make the checkout process all the more enjoyable....there was a young woman in front of me with her small children. The little girls looked to be about two (there were two of them...twins?), and her little boy looked to be about four or five.
I should probably preface my remarks by explaining that I'm not exactly "kid friendly". Now I don't mean that I'm not friendly to kids or that I would ever do anything to hurt one of them, but I just don't ever have the opportunity to be around them or learn what the hell is going on in their little heads half the time. Kids perplex me. I have no idea what they need or want or are saying, and I swear they appear more as alien life forms to me than they do little people.
So the little boy in front of me decides at that very moment in time to have what can only be described as a full-on nuclear MELT DOWN. I'm not sure what precipitated this, nor am I exactly positive as to what he seemed to be screaming about (see above), but I do know that his hollering was loud enough to set off smoke alarms and rattle windows. It was...erm...uh...rather unpleasant.
Considering that there were hundreds of people in the store and at least 90% of them were waiting in line to get the hell out of there, I did what any normal adult without children would do....I looked around and made sure that they knew that I had nothing to do with whatever the hell the kid was going through. Face after horrified face just stood there staring at this kid and a few people even shot the mom a look that could have melted glass.
Don't ask me what happened next, because I'm not too sure I could explain it if I had to.
I sat down.
I sat down right on the floor in front of this little kid.
On the floor.
I must have shocked the yell right out of the kid, because he stopped in mid bloody scream and looked at me like I was nuts. And then he did something amazing. He walked right over to where I was sitting and sat down right next to me.
Turns out his name was Ethan. And Ethan, as it would happen, was just generally pissed off at the world. His mom wouldn't give him a cookie and then they went to the toy aisle and he didn't even get to press the foot on the (I have no idea what the hell he said here..but I figured it had to do with something electronic.) He told me all about his day, including the fact that he woke up with his tummy hurting and then he didn't get to have the right kind of cereal and then his mom made him put his little coat on and they had been "doing stuff" all damn day long. And he was tired. And he was hungry. And he wanted somebody, somewhere to pay attention to him.
So Ethan and I talked about the general state of the world, came to the conclusion that Santa Claus would come to visit him even if he acted bad, and that Notre Dame has no business being in a bowl game. We named the reindeer (OK, so I made up most of the names...I'm sure there's a Pete and a Larry out there somewhere), and then Ethan told me all about his cat named Blue. (Or was it Boo?)
The line finally moved forward (damn you, Granger housewife and all your gift receipts), so Ethan and I got up off the floor, dusted ourselves off, and held hands while his mom paid for the three items she needed.
I may never solve world peace, and I might never find the cure to cancer, but I'm pretty sure that sitting on the floor in Target was the exact right thing to do at that moment in time. That kid made me feel like no matter what the hell is going on in the world..if somebody someplace just sits down for a minute to hear what you have to say, everything suddenly gets much better.
Merry Christmas, Ethan. Don't hit your little sisters, tell mom you need a little more nap time, and remember the big nutty lady that sat down with you in Target.