Monday, July 1, 2013

Kindness from Stranger

As we walked through the aisles of a store, I had to break the news that my daughter had missed a birthday party of a friend of hers last weekend because we'd gone out of town.  It came up because she'd wanted to get a gift while we were there.  Her reaction was what one would expect from an almost-eight-year-old girl who'd missed out on a birthday party.  The tears flowed.

I asked her not to cry and said I was sorry she had to miss it.  She was still quietly crying as we got to the check-out line.  I put on the conveyor belt candy, flip-flops for my son, and a deep treatment conditioner for both the kids' hair.  The young black lady working the register had noticed us as we walked up, and as soon as she finished with the customer ahead of us, she turned our way and asked me, "Are these your adopted kids?"

She then turned right to my daughter as she rang us up and asked why she was crying.  Getting no quick answer, I explained that she'd just found out that she had to miss a birthday party last weekend.

The cashier nodded, never taking her attention off of my daughter.  I was a bystander.  She pulled out a container of stickers and gave her one.  She told her, "Boy that's disappointing to miss a birthday party, but I can tell you as someone who has lived 24 years on this earth: there is always another birthday party.  Another one will roll around the next year, and you won't miss it, and it'll all be okay."

My daughter nodded, her face still wet with fresh tears.  I was so thankful.  I told her so.  She brushed it off and handed me my back.

I want to call her manager to give her commendations.  I want her to know that I appreciate the attention she gave my "adopted daughter."  I, of course, couldn't help wondering what her story was, if maybe she herself wasn't also adopted.  Maybe she just has a big heart for children, but I couldn't help finding it strange (not in a bad way) that she focused so much attention on my daughter.  Maybe she saw me as the negligent, ne'er-do-well white mother screwing up yet another adopted black child.  It's possible.

No matter what, I was thankful her message to my daughter helped her feel better.

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