Grocery Store Karma


Do you believe in Karma?  Not necessarily the Buddhist kind, but the everyday kind.  As in, the idea that if you put out good energy, good things will come your way…


A trip to the grocery store is an adventure these days. On a recent shopping trip, my 18-month-old, Savannah, managed to grab and open a bag of parmesan crisps. She was happily chowing down, before I realized she’d opened the bag. Oops.

And, if she doesn’t have something to keep her entertained, she tries to climb out of the cart to run up and down the aisles.

So, for this grocery run, I’m putting her in a baby carrier.

As I lift her in though, I notice she’s holding an electronic toy, which will break if she drops it. I offer her favorite stuffed giraffe toy instead, named “Buttons”. Buttons was a baby shower gift from my brother, and she’s one of my favorites too. Savannah agrees to the trade, and we’re on our way.

Once we finish up our shopping, we get in line to check-out and we start unloading.

A woman gets in line behind me, half-smiling, with an expression on her face as if to say, “Well, I guess this lane is as good as any”. I smile back.

Then I realize, she’s only holding four items.

I must have a hundred items in my cart. So, I ask if she wants to go ahead of me.

Apparently, I’m in a good mood, or secretly hoping for grocery store karma. Whatever that is. At any rate, it’s the right thing to do, and not a big deal.

“Thank you,” she says, smiling and waving at Savannah, as she steps in front of us. “I really appreciate it.” She’s chats with us for a minute, while they ring her up.

After paying, I unload the groceries into my car, and Savannah reaches for a book in the car. I realize, her hands are empty.

She dropped Buttons (her giraffe toy), somewhere.

We head back into the store. We walk up and down every aisle. No luck.

I doubt we’ll see Buttons, again.

I spot a grocery store employee I’ve gotten to know, who’s always been really helpful and nice, and I tell him about the missing giraffe. He clearly just arrived—he’s still wearing a bicycle helmet. I don’t want to make him late to clock in. He says it’s fine though, and takes me to the manager.

The manager has Buttons sitting right on top of the register next to her. Someone was nice enough to bring our toy up front and to take the time to find a manager, so we could get it back.

A thought flashes across my mind—maybe this is grocery store karma. Whatever. Thank goodness for nice people.

As I hand Savannah the pink-spotted giraffe, she kicks excitedly and takes a big loving chomp of Buttons’ head. All is well and everyone’s happy.


So, is there such a thing as everyday karma? I don’t know. It can’t hurt to model kindness for our kids though, right? If nothing else, maybe everyday karma just ends up being a kid grows up to be friendly and kind. Of course, that’s as long as we also can teach them not to go near strangers. Hmmm…


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