Good Moms

Last week, I was at the grocery store, using the U-scan line, when the computer decided it didn’t like what I was doing.  The robotic voice boomed, “Please take the last item out of the bag.”

I checked my bag. I checked the screen. It looked like the computer had recorded the correct amount for the last item, but it wasn’t quite registering that I had, indeed, placed the item into the bag. I couldn’t proceed, so I flagged down the store worker.

“I’m pretty sure I scanned everything properly, ma’am, but apparently, something is wrong.”

The woman approached and looked at me. “Oh, I’m sure you did scan everything correctly,” she said. “But it looks like you’ve rearranged the bags on the scale. Move some of the bags to your cart and I think the problem will be fixed. If not, I’ll fix it at my station.”

I went ahead and did as she suggested, and within five seconds, the computer was ready for the next item.

“That worked!” I said, and went through the motions of paying for my items. “Thank you so much,” I added as I placed the rest of my things into the cart.

“You’re welcome,” she said.

The conversation could have ended there, but I have to admit–I was very impressed that she told me how to fix the problem myself instead of just doing it for me. If the problem happens the next time, I’ll know what do to. So, after I finished up, I went and thanked her a second time, and was sure to tell her just how much I appreciated her approach.

“Oh you’re welcome,” she repeated.

“Are you a mother?” I asked her. I had to know. If she showed people how to fix things so they could help themselves later, she had to have been a mother. Or a teacher. Or maybe both.

A smile spread across her face when she heard my question. “I sure am. I have five girls and a son.”

She didn’t have time to dawdle with me since a coworker approached and asked her a question. I shot the woman another “Thank you!” and then “Have a good day!” and left the store with a smile on my face.

If that woman parents the way she works, she’s most likely a good mom. Sometimes, they’re easy to spot.


Written by

Christina Consolino is a mother, dreamer, author, editor and teacher from Dayton, Ohio. She's a member of the Plot Sisters and teaches Anatomy & Physiology at Sinclair Community College. She writes literary women's fiction, personal essays and more.