The Children Are Watching
Jul 29, 2018 08:38PM
● By Dave Korba
One of my favorite parts of publishing this magazine each month is distributing it. I like being on the road always moving, especially visiting the grocery stores. Not only are they a nice respite from the grueling summer heat, they are generally clean, organized and bustling with a variety of social activity and human interaction. Each store moves to its own rhythm as traffic weaves in and out around the perimeter through the produce department to the meat and deli counter, past the bakery and toward the dairy case. As a young child and to this day, it is like a slow-motion NASCAR race, with occasional pit stops into the aisles.
I spent summers during my childhood at my dad’s side, going in, out and through grocery stores. He also delivered to gas stations, delis and mom and pop shops, but most of the time was spent in grocery stores. He would usually maintain end cap displays in the larger stores. We’d go into the store, consolidate the stock, take inventory and record the quantity onto the ruled order form in his blue, three-ring, Tastykake binder – then head out to the truck with the trash and grab a couple of carts along the way. After gathering the order from the truck and placing it in the carts, we’d head back in to restock the shelves until the next visit.
There usually wasn’t a lot of conversation between us. Just work. I’d assist wherever possible, breaking boxes, carrying trash, pushing carts and watching. The flattened cardboard cases piled in the back of the truck made for a nice napping area when I ran out of steam some afternoons. Most of the time however, I maintained my spot standing in the step well on the passenger side as we drove from stop to stop.
These were the formative years of my childhood. I learned lessons about hard work and social interaction through observation and participation, yet the most valuable aspect of this opportunity was spending time with my dad. Nothing is more valuable to a child than receiving the attention, acknowledgment and love of a parent. I still look for it every time I walk into a grocery store.
Remember to see, accept, love and spend playful time with your children as they grow up – and perhaps share some perspective by showing them how you choose to feel good, live simply and laugh more. They’re watching.