Every once in awhile, I indulge my daughter’s shopping hobby with a special trip to the dollar store. Conveniently, she usually waits until we get there to announce she has forgotten her money and asks to “borrow” some like she has a job. She doesn’t make a list, she just likes to peruse the isles and find a few things that she would like to try. Baby G rides up front, so she usually hangs on to the back, facing me and rolling down isles backwards. On this particular trip, she settles on an oversized magnifying glass and some kind of paddle ball thing. Once she has added her items to the shopping cart and a few items she feels she “needs” like Elmo soap for her bathroom we head towards the checkout.
As we approach the front of the store, we notice the line and approach with caution. As soon as we get in line, she announces that she has to use the bathroom. “Really, Morgan, how come you didn’t go before we left the house? You know I don’t like public bathrooms. Is this an emergency or an adventure?” “Sorry mommy, but I really have to go,” she says. So without another word, we turn around and head to the back of the store. On the way, we pass several people, one of which is an older African American woman with a light complexion. She is well dressed and her hair and makeup are in perfect order. She exchanges pleasantries and I think our encounter is over. That is until my daughter feels the need to loudly state “I don’t like ‘his’ hair.”
The woman doesn’t say a word, but clearly she and several others were within ear shot to my adorably, rude little girl. So in defense, I say, “well first of all, she’s a woman and I like her hair, it’s pretty.” Okay, the woman’s hair fit her age, it looked like a beehive, but it was deliberate and she may have looked a little masculine, but was clearly a female. “No mommy, I don’t like it,” she repeats.
“Well Morgan, Jesus doesn’t want us to hurt people’s feelings and that was unnecessary for you to say. She didn’t ask you if you liked her hair, that was mean and I think you should apologize,” I say. By now I notice a sign that says the bathroom is out of order and magically she says she can wait until she gets home.
“You want me to tell her sorry, now?” she asks. I reply, “Yes, you hurt her feelings now, so you need to apologize now.” “But what if she doesn’t want me to say sorry,” she asks. “Well, that’s a chance you take when you say mean things to people,” I reply. She hesitates for a moment and hops off the back of the shopping cart, she runs up to the lady and says “I’m really sorry I hurt your feelings. I didn’t mean it. Do you forgive me?” The lady almost overwhelmed, says “You are so cute, and yes, I receive it and I accept your apology.”
She runs back to me and hops back on the shopping cart and asks if I was proud of her. I am sure my smile said it all, but I did tell her that I was very proud and reminded her that as Christians we must not intentionally hurt people’s feelings and if we do, we need to apologize, swiftly.
“Okay,” she said. “I won’t do that again, just don’t tell Jesus.”