i will never tell you how many stores i have been to over the past week to complete the list of school supplies for my children, but i will say that there is nary a glue stick available in the entire city of raleigh, nc. with the last hours of summer vacation winding down, i was ready to throw in the towel, but that would be letting the glue sticks win, so after much hype up and team chanting we decided to show this world who was boss
we loaded up in the party van we call stella and we picked out appropriate tunes to commemorate this trip where we would take back the glue sticks and i’m not sorry to say that we felt like superheroes. we put all our hands in the middle of the minivan once we had parked and declared that it was our time down here and we charged the only remaining target in the entire Triangle area. we looked high and we looked low. we are not some freshman glue stick team that doesn’t even have coordinating shoes to go with our phenomenal ups- we had our eyes on the prize. we started in the school supplies section to blend in and then when we found what we knew to be true we proceeded quietly and stealthily to the arts and crafts section. sure target, maybe you won’t let elementary school-aged kids in on a glue stick this time of year, but we have a toddler with us and i think we all know a toddler should not be denied anything, most of all glue in stick form when the need arises.
nothing. the shelves, the hangy thingamadoogies, all of it was bare. it was like we were searching for milk and bread when a winter storm warning of a few drops of rain is predicted in this area. it was disheartening, but would we take defeat? no! oh wait, it’s time for dinner and if we push that back too much then the two-year old won’t get to bed on time which will mean she will be cranky and unable to cope with her sisters getting out of the car in the morning as the school steals her playmates for another year.
but we had put our hands in the middle of the minivan. we had come up with a family chant and cheer. we had accepted the mission and were not going down without a fight. we piled back in the minivan and headed to the very last office supply store on the face of the earth. along the way, the cast and crew from every movie where the world ends and there are mere moments before the hero will be too late were lined up on the side of the road. i opened the window as the girls high-fived the many who have gone before us and we spoke of people who had broken through barriers. people told amelia erheart she would not fly. people told billy elliot he would not dance. people told baby nobody would put her in a corner when she was in fact in a corner and she stood up and walked out. of. that. corner.
we parked and took nora may’s matted-down, sweaty head and pushed the hair to the side. we linked hands as we crossed this one final parking lot. we were silent as we knew we might not make it to that glorious land of completed supply lists. but we had each other. and it was a privilege serving with each and every mini-stevens in my battalion. we walked in proud that we had given our all. we marched right to the aisle marked adhesives and saw, hanging there all alone, one pack of glue sticks. one supply list demanded 4 sticks and the other 2 and as all the employees and patrons around us burst into applause, some wiping tears from their eyes, we embraced each other in a way we never had before holding the last 6-pack of glue sticks in the entire world high above our heads.
maybe today will be awesome. maybe it will be the worst day of the year. but at the end of the day we have adhesive. and each other.