Dear lady at the grocery store,
You don’t know it, but you gave my children the opportunity to make me the proudest dad. You gave our kids the opportunity to understand why doing the right thing pays off. You gave me the opportunity to silently boast at the children that I have raised. You helped me to realize that there are some things in life that money can’t buy.
Over the last nine years I lost track of how proud I am of my 4 kids. Proud of them for getting perfect report cards. Proud of them for kicking the winning goal. Proud of them for helping their baby sister she fell down. But one of the proudest days I can remember came as a surprise and it happened in the grocery store.
My wife and I have four children, but I only had our two oldest boys, Beau (6) and Jack (8) with me at the store that day. We were just running in to grab a gallon of milk for breakfast in the morning. A quick shopping trip that turned into a great lesson for our boys… and for us a parents.
As we were walking in, an older couple had just walked out of the store. The moment we passed them, the woman dropped a bag on the floor, spilling her groceries all over the floor. As I started to walk over to try and help the couple, our boys sprinted over to them. No questions… No prompting… just reaction. Jack and Beau got right down on their knees and staring picking up everything on the floor. Beau even crawled under the grocery carts to get some of the blueberries that spilled.
As they finished helping this couple, the woman pulled a dollar out and gave one to both of our boys. I told her that she did not need to do that and it was not necessary…to which she replied “Honey, they deserve much more.”
You see that woman reminded me that even when we are not “teaching” our children intentionally, they are watching us and learning from us. While she taught our kids that their efforts to do good for others pays off, she also reminded me of the values that I wanted to teach to my boys, but did not realize I had already been teaching them. The same values that my father had been teaching me…Respect.
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