Would Kelly’s Mom, please report to…

Dateline:  August 1968, Ann & Hope Department Store, Warwick, RIschool shopping

The scene:  A mom shopping with her six school-aged children, amidst the craziness that was school shopping for clothes and supplies for all the kids at the same time. All children near the cart, the younger ones told by the mom to hold on to the cart and not let go. Mom turns her back for one moment and returns to find that five, not six, kids are still by the cart.  I don’t remember exactly what happened entirely, but my brothers and sisters like to tell the story this way.

As heard over the store’s PA system: “Would Kelly’s mom please come to the service desk to get your daughter.” Apparently, I was standing in the middle of an aisle crying when a sales clerk found me and brought me to the front desk. I was picked up and sat on the high counter at the customer service desk–as was the usual design of the stores at that time, it could be found near the snack bar in the store. I was promptly given some lollipops and told everything would be okay.

I’m told that when my mom came to retrieve me she left my oldest brother in charge and everyone was told to “hold on to this carriage until I get back with your sister.” My mom grasped my hand quite tightly as we walked back to the section of the store where she left my five siblings. I’m sure I got a ration of “way to go, Kelly” kind of comments when I stood in my spot next in between the others. I didn’t let go of the carriage again that day.

dum dumsWhen you have that many siblings, sharing is the order of the day. What I think I’m most thankful for that day was the nice lady at the service desk said, I didn’t have to share the lollipops–and I made sure I let my brothers and sisters know it!

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