Lemur made me promise to write something positive today, so here goes.
We were at Target on Sunday. As part of reading The Artist’s Way, I bought myself some new pens as a reward for writing morning pages seven days in a row.
We approached the checkout, and I thought I recognized the woman two ahead of us in line. She let her young son (maybe two or three) use her credit card to pay, told him how long to hold it in the machine, etc. She also talked him through every step of the process, including thanking the cashier for her help and saying goodbye.
We were called up to the courtesy desk, and I saw her face-to-face. She’s a coworker who now works in another building. We said hi, and then Lemur and I proceeded to courtesy checkout with my pens. It took less than a minute, and by then, my coworker and her son had ditched their cart (in which he’d been riding–like I said, he’s a little one) and beat us to the door.
At this point, I expected Lemur to lose his temper. We were following a woman who was now leading a young child by the hand, and giving him directions the whole way. “Hold my hand, please. We’re in the parking lot. Thank you. Look both ways. Any cars? Wait to see if they stop. Cross at the yellow bars on the pavement. Do you see them? Look, they stopped. Let’s go. Thank you.” And so on. It was more than mere instruction. She asked questions, and the little boy answered.
We parked in a different aisle than she did, so we parted ways. Lemur turned to me, and I fully expected to defend my coworker from an onslaught of what-the-fuck.
“Wow. She’s an amazing mom,” he said. “Did you see that? She’s having a conversation with him about everything, teaching him about shopping. She even let him pay. I wish my mom would have done that.”
I saw. I know her. She is a great mom, and a wonderful lady.
Pretty sure she’ll never read this blog. Even so, I wanted to take this chance to thank all the fantastic parents out there. I applaud those of you making the effort, like my coworker. That little boy learned a lot about the world, all from a trip to Target. Every moment is a teachable moment. Good fortune to all parents who use that knowledge.
What great parenting wins have you noticed lately?