I know. I’ve been quiet again. But sometimes life is too busy for my mind to want to make more words. And I guess I’m getting to the point where I allow that to be ok. It only took forty-some years to give myself a break!
I’ve actually been meaning to write this post all week. And finally, Friday afternoon, it’s apparently time.
Sunday, at the end of a really busy weekend of errands and classes and rehearsals and work, we were at the mall of all places, getting a new phone for me thanks to Mr. Sustainable. We are not mall people. I dread going anywhere near it, in fact. The kids have probably only been to a mall a handful of times, and only to access stores that are only found there. Sometimes, you just gotta do it.
Regardless, while Mr. S. talked with the Apple store folks (my day job is in technology, but I leave all the home gadgets in his capable hands), the girls wanted to go visit the only store they really know at the mall: Build-a-Bear. Sigh. So off we trudged, with me making all the usual disclaimers about how we were just looking, not buying anything.
We looked. Sunshine asked to buy stuff anyway. We looked some more. And after a while, we walked back down the length of the mall to the Apple store to check on Mr. S. While we were waiting for him to finish his business, I felt a tap on my arm. Moonglow wanted to show me something. In her hand was a small, cloth heart. The kind that Build-a-Bear has a child kiss and put inside the animal they are making.
Now I knew very well it wasn’t a valuable object. And it was late, after a long day. We were tired. But I thought back to when I was Moonglow’s age (5) or perhaps just a tad younger. And I had secretly pocketed a single piece of the Brachs pick-a-mix candy as we walked through the grocery store. And how my mother (or maybe it was a babysitter, I don’t recall) made me take that piece of candy back and apologize, explaining that taking things that don’t belong to us is wrong.
So back we walked through the mall, Moonglow clinging to my hand and visibly upset that we had to go give it back and apologize. She’s at that stage where saying I’m sorry or being called out on doing something wrong is very difficult. She often bursts into tears when gently called on the slightest infraction, not wanting to say sorry and burying her head in her pillow or her mama. So I knew this wouldn’t be easy. But it was important to me to teach her that lesson that I recalled learning the same way. And I told her that I did the same thing when I was her age.
We found an employee. I made her show them the heart. And though you probably needed a hearing aid to hear her whispered, “I’m sorry,” before she buried her head in my skirt, she said it. And I felt better for making her do this small thing that will hopefully teach her a very important lesson. Bonus: they let her keep the fabric heart anyway.
Now if I could just teach her to keep the silly putty away from her hair! (Don’t ask.)