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Some people call Disneyland the happiest place on earth. It is pretty special, a huge, lovely castle, gazillions of fun rides to go on, princesses to meet, food from around the world, but my Magical Kingdom is someplace else entirely. For me it’s one simple store with, as my son likes to say, “The dog and the red bullseye.” Target, this is my ode to you.

Target, I don’t know if you realize this, but you are the place for all moms. 

You may not have the real Cinderella, A Jungle Cruise, or fireworks every night, but your automatic doors slide open and welcome us to a safe, happy place. 

Target, I love your aisles of things we need. You boast your groceries, diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, shoes for kids that don’t cost an arm and a leg, and goldfish crackers. I mean, goldfish crackers! For those little orange snacks alone, I thank you.

Do you have things moms don’t need too? Absolutely. Sparkly summer glasses and lemonade pitchers, Legos and art supplies, inexpensive shampoos and organic lipstick, pretty underwear you don’t ask me to hand over my first born to afford. 

Target, you are comfort. Soft throw blankets, DVDs, t-shirts and yoga pants, that breezy ocean painting, painted by no one I know, but I bought for my bathroom just because it made me happy. 

Yes, Target you are every mom’s best friend. You support us without judging. You help us through the monotony, but you’ll also serve us a margarita in a green tinted glass and put a cocktail umbrella in it just to celebrate the first sunny day of spring with us.

There have been many days I needed just a few things, and I could bribe my toddlers into going to Target by offering time in the toy aisles. Did it sometimes end in tears when my kids found out we weren’t actually buying any toys? Absolutely, but Target, you don’t mind, and you let me come back again and again and again. No matter the tears. 

Target, you have bathrooms. I might cry, happy tears. Bathrooms might top the list of wonderful things about you, you special place. Even higher than the pretty home decorating section that makes me feel like I can freshen up my house with just a floral throw pillow or two. You might think you only offer stuff for us to buy, but you are so much more than that, Target. You have probably saved millions of moms and their kids who are in need of a bathroom while out and about. We can always count on you to save our butts, literally. 

There’s one last amazing thing about you, my friend. Coffee. Whose genius idea was it to have a Starbucks inside every Target? I mean there aren’t many places moms can go in this world where we can use the bathroom, pick up more wipes and formula, soft bath towels, more markers to keep our kids occupied, the latest novel for when we have a few minutes to curl up and escape, and, drum roll please…get a warm cup of coffee!! For many, their mantra is God, Family, Country, Football. For moms, it’s more like, Coffee, Coffee, Coffee and please, more Coffee! 

Dear Target, the only thing I can think of to make you even better would be if you had a drive through for those times when we arrive only to find our kiddo crashed out asleep in their carseat.

So you may think you’re just an ordinary store, but you are not. You are amazing and brilliant! Others can take their castle under the sun and dance with Minnie and Mickey, but I’ll happily take, you, my Target and coffee any day. Thank you Target, from the bottom of my exhausted mom heart.

Sara Ohlin

Puget Sound based writer, Sara Ohlin is a mom, wannabe photographer, obsessive reader, ridiculous foodie, and the author of the upcoming contemporary romance novels, Handling the Rancher and Salvaging Love. You can find her essays at Anderbo.com, Feminine Collective, Mothers Always Write, Her View from Home, and in anthologies such as Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak about Healthcare in America, and Take Care: Tales, Tips, & Love from Women Caregivers. Find her at www.saraohlin.com

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