Last week I posted about how one of my sons experienced something for the first time that he will be enjoying for many years, God willing.

Today another son learned that something that he has been enjoying for years will never be something he experiences again.

Daniel is ten and for a couple months on shopping trips he has been asking me if he can get a ride on the shopping cart by hanging on the outside with some of his younger siblings*. And for perhaps half a year I have been telling him ‘no’. He is TEN. He weighs EIGHTY POUNDS (okay, I’m guessing here). He makes the cart significantly more unwieldy. And walking around a store with 7 kids, I want my shopping carts to be as wieldy as possible.

So today at Target he politely asked again and I decided to lay out the bad and horrible truth to him: He will never again in his life get a ride on a shopping cart.

At least from me and almost certainly not from his Mom.

Never.

I was surprised at how well he took it.

Other rules that I have with shopping cart rides:

1. No dragging your foot.
2. If we are next to Mom and she has a cart as well, do not touch it.
3. Also don’t touch the product displays.
4. Don’t be digging around in whatever I have put in the cart.
5. Actually, just basically don’t touch anything except the cart you are riding on. And finally,
6. Do not get between me and the cart’s push bar.

This often seems like too much to ask of children – at least they receive these rules as if I’m putting a heavy burden on them. It is at these times that I remind them: You are getting a free ride around a store. Don’t push it.

* Since we have been told by at least one Target employee that this is against the safety rules, I’d appreciated if you kept the fact that we do this on the down-low.

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