“You sit here, baby”. I sit my two year old on the edge of the supermarket check-out row, getting ready to bag the half open breadsticks, bananas, a bottle of “daddy’s juju” and some of my “bargains” of the day.
“She’s getting big, isn’t she?” the check-out assistant smiles at me. I look at my two year old. She knows how to charm people, smiling saying “Hiya”. “Yeah, she is”. I look at the woman’s name badge which reads Isobel while putting away the food in the bag. As Isobel beeps the white wine my girl points and goes “Daddy’s juju!” Isobel laughs and says “Is that what it is?” rolling her eyes making the little one laugh.
Every day I go to our supermarket and most days we know the shop assistants and have a chit chat about this and that. When I say we “know” it means we know each other’s faces really. Who would’ve thought these little conversations make you feel happy and that you belong here. As I leave the shop looking like a Christmas tree with bags hanging on any available limb with a child trailing behind I pass other people I know from school gates, local shops and businesses. Some comment “You don’t think you need a trolley, do you?!”.
I don’t know most of their names, but this is my community and this is where we are bringing up our kids. That makes me happy.
I’m probably one of the five East Asian looking residents here in this small town. I often get questions like “Are you the girl who works in the flower shop?” “No, I’m not”. “Do you work in the restaurant near the harbour?” “No”, I smile.
As we walk home I could see the sea at the end of the street glittering with sparkles. The sun is shining. I used to think the sun didn’t shine the same after Billy died. Now, I think the sun shines better because my baby boy’s in the sky, sending love with the sun rays.