Sassy and I went to Walmart this morning for all our usual necessities. I've gotten out of the pattern of going once a week, and have been going every couple of weeks lately. It makes for an expensive trip, but it does mean I'm going to Walmart less frequently, which is always a good thing.
I picked up some new tupperware to pack lunches in (some of our lids have been cracking, and the tubs are starting to look a little cruddy), shampoo, toothbrushes, garbage bags, and other various household items.
For the first part of the trip, Sassy's usually interested enough in whatever I'm putting in the cart. I pick it up off the shelf, hand it to her, she plays with it for a few minutes, and then either hands it back to me or dumps it in the cart. This works well for a while, but then she wants a snack. Today I had packed a small Take-N-Toss container of Multi-Grain Cheerios. I tell her to hold on to it carefully (as carefully as an almost-two-year-old can), and she does... momentarily.
Somewhere between the oatmeal and the olive oil, a sea of Cheerios spilled to the ground. I sighed in frustration, pushed the cart to the side of the aisle, and bent down to start collecting a million little O's. I heard an elderly couple stifling giggles behind me. I looked up and noted to them that I ought to carry a dustpan with me. They just chuckled and said it wasn't a problem. As they passed, they looked adoringly at my little girl, who sat silently in the cart watching me. She hadn't been "bad;" she was just being a kid, and accidents happen.
Next down the aisle came a young mom and dad with their slightly-younger-than-Sassy son. The other mom's eyes met with mine, and she sympathized. I joked that it's not a full day until I clean up Cheerios off of Walmart's floor. I laughed and said that it was usually animal crackers for them.
We finished our shopping. We came home, put our things away, ate lunch, cleaned up, and went outside for a while. Sassy played with sidewalk chalk and I vacuumed out the car. We watched the mailman deliver our mail, and went to get it out of the mailbox -- a big thrill for a toddler! Inside we came to wipe the chalk off her face and hands, change a diaper, look at books, and down for nap. (Well, one of us, anyway.) We must have had enough outside time for her to be tired out to sleep today, which is becoming less and less common here.
Tonight, we will put the items we purchased at the store today inside a shoebox wrapped with Christmas paper. We will send crayons, coloring books, watercolor paints, toothbrushes, toothpaste, a hair brush, hair bows, Play-Doh, a stuffed animal, candy, and an assortment of other goodies to another little girl somewhere in this world. We will pack this gift for her and drop it off at a nearby drop-off location. It will be processed and flown to another country where another little girl will receive it. It's possible that this will be her only Christmas present this year. She will not just be told about God's love, but she will be shown it as well.
Two little girls... probably similar in many ways, but different in so many others. We are blessed beyond measure, and though Sassy isn't old enough to understand what we're doing, I want her to grow up having ways to serve others and be a blessing to someone else, even to someone we don't know.
Will you pack a shoebox?