Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Dollar Tree is Worth the Risk!


A couple of months ago, I took care of my grandchildren while their parents celebrated their Anniversary. Reneya, my 8-year-old granddaughter and I share a favorite tradition: Going to Dollar Tree!

When Reneya asked me to take her, I was very hesitant because I've been ultra-careful about social distancing.  I hadn't even been stepping foot in a grocery store. (Online Shopping is awesome!) In fact, I was even a little tentative about babysitting, but we all have to weigh the risks of catching the virus and when it comes to helping my kids and grandkids, I'm going to take the risk.  But, I was not crazy about taking the risk to go to Dollar Tree.

Still, Reneya told me she'd pay with her own money and she really, really, really, wanted to get some things so she could make some miniature knick-knacks for her dolls.  We got our masks and safely made the trip and we were all very happy.  

I'd completely forgotten that Reneya had said she'd pay for what she bought until I babysat again last weekend and she gave me a Thank You note with a $5 bill. The note was so cute!

I told her how thoughtful and generous it was of her to write me the thank you note and pay me back from her allowance and how my own Grandma used to tell me when you are generous and give to someone else, it always comes back to you two-fold.  Then, to prove it, I said we could go to Dollar Tree and she could get $10 worth of goodies!

Wow! Was she ever grateful! She said  'Thank you' SO many times and she was so excited by the loot we found.  We even stopped to have lunch at Panera and got some delicious bundlets to celebrate both kids' birthdays. Other than the masks, the world seemed somewhat normal again. Actually, it was better than normal. 

It's true, that I took a little more risk than usual, but we all do that when we get into the car and drive every day (especially me, since I'm not exactly a super-confident driver.)  I tend to be an overly-cautious rule-follower, but my Agile training has helped me recognize that you have to ask why the rule is there and look at the specific context.  Each person's situation will be different.

In my case, I'm very healthy and unlikely to die if I catch the virus. I know I can comfortably self-isolate after a weekend with my Grandkids, so I can feel confident that I won't spread it.

As I've started re-emerging in the world, I'm figuring out my boundaries..  where I'll go, who I'll socialize with, how I'll behave. It's hard to be with groups of more than a couple of people because it seems like people start loosening up with the distancing guidelines.  It feels very awkward to be the only person of a group of family and friends wearing a mask and not touching or hugging.  I was in this situation at my Grandson's birthday party last month, when I was the only one wearing a mask.  It felt like I was at a High School party and I was the only Goody Two Shoes that wasn't drinking beer. (Yes, I WAS that person in High School.)  It was very tempting to give into the familiar feeling of wanting to go along with group norms and take off the mask and join in the hugs...  but there were several people older and more vulnerable than me at that party so I awkwardly resisted. (However, it helped that I have a really cool light-up mask.)

Others are making their own decisions based on their health, the people they're seeing, their jobs, their families, etc. What works for us might not work for others. Another behavior that I'm trying to live by is to not judge others and to not worry what they might be thinking about my choices, as long as I'm good with them.

I get that it might not be true for everyone, but for me, a Dollar Tree date with my grandkids is totally worth the risk! (They really do have amazing stuff there for only a dollar!)