See, What Had Happened Was...

Picture it:  SMALLtown, Georgia...2001.  Somewhere between summer and fall, but who can really say because there really isn't much difference between the two seasons in that part of the world.  A young mother took her almost four-year old son to the local Stuffmart for grosseries.  The window of time for this excursion was limited as Daddy had been left at the house with their nearly newborn infant son and the aforementioned young mother had the baby's grosseries with her...if you know what I mean.  If you don't, just keep reading.  On paper, it looked like a pretty quick trip.  Sometimes, however, even the best laid plans can go sideways in a matter of seconds.

Almost four year old boyo...let's call him Bigg'n, for the purpose of this yarn,...was a pretty cooperative kid.  Good natured...CUTER than a speckled puppy in a little red as a whip...and very independent.  Actually, his parentals couldn't have asked for a better child their first time out and knew that HE had THEM spoiled rotten.  On this particular day, Bigg'n had his own agenda and it was more about a trip through the toy department, which was entirely more entertaining, than keeping company with his mama through the food aisles.  Even after asking ever so sweetly and politely...and ONLY once...he was crushed to be denied....ever so sweetly and politely...because there wasn't enough time.  Baby Brother would be ready to eat about the time Bigg'n and Mama returned with their purchases.  Maybe another day. 

Our young mother turned the corner to the next aisle and hadn't gone very far when she realized Bigg'n wasn't with her.  She went back to the previous aisle.  No Bigg'n.  When she called his name, she could hear him respond, but she couldn't see him.  She returned to the next aisle and ran into (not literally) a friend...who hadn't seen Bigg'n.  She called his name.  Nothing.  Fear and dread gripped her heart.  She hustled over to the deli counter and explained the situation.  To her great dismay, the two workers behind the counter argued about which of them would issue the special lost child announcement.  Our young mother threatened to crawl over said deli counter to make the call, herself, if that announcement wasn't made in the next ten seconds...and she meant it....and they knew it.  Just then, an different announcement informed the entire store that a little boy, who said his name was Bigg'n, wearing an orange football jersey was waiting for his mama at the paint counter.  The workers behind the deli counter didn't get the chance to ask our young mother if that was her child because she took of running like a bullet out of a gun....and promptly wiped out as she rounded the corner.  Flat on her belly in the middle of Stuffmart!  A fellow shopper saw our young mother fall and stated, "Oh, bless your that your little boy?"  She scrambled to her feet and replied, "No...there's a good sale on queen size pantyhose that I don't want to miss!"

It was a sweet reunion for mother and son in the paint department.  Bigg'n was a little confused by his mama's tears.  The nice Stuffmart lady patted his mama's head and said, "Bless her, Jesus!" many times.  In case you've never been to the Stuffmart in SMALLtown, Georgia, it's important for you to know that the paint department was just a few aisles over from the toys.  He almost made it but then realized he had no idea how to get back to his mama.  His little hand, firmly tucked into her hand, Bigg'n and our young mother returned to their abandoned shopping cart and promptly checked out.  They could finish the shopping another day. 

Right....another day when Daddy went to the store and left Mama and sons at the house!