Lesson Learned

Because I learned something today.

Something big.

From someone small.

It started on the way home from school.

“Someone called me ugly today,” she told me from the backseat.

“Oh yeah? What happened?”

I pretended not to be upset, but inside I was fuming. Thinking of all the things I would say to this person.

It happened in the bathroom. She told a girl that she liked her shoes. The girl told her she was ugly. And then that she was stupid.

Lord, help me. Because y’all, I was ready to pounce. How could anyone say those things to my sweet girl?!

Fuming, y’all. I. Was. Fuming.

“So what happened?” I asked.

“I gave her a hug.”

“You did what?” I stammered from the front seat trying to make eye contact with her in the rear view just so I could make sure she was saying what I thought she said.

“I hugged her,” she said only slightly annoyed after having to repeat herself.

“You hugged her?” I sputtered, confused.

“Well, yeah.” I could feel the eye roll.

I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Any hopes I had had for winning mother of the year in those moments were long gone.

“Why?!” I nearly shouted while using my very serious high voice.

“Because I wanted to help her.”

I closed my mouth.

“She didn’t mean those things. So I wanted to show her what it meant to be nice and kind. So I hugged her. And then I told her she had a beautiful dress.”

“And then what?” I asked.

“Then she high- fived me and told me I was cool.”

I didn’t know what to say. She could tell.

“So then see? I showed her how to be nice and then she was nice. Maybe no one had ever showed her before.”

Floored, I looked back into the mirror.

“Weren’t you upset at what she said? Didn’t it hurt your feelings?” I asked already anticipating being blown away by the wisdom I could already see in my 5 year olds eyes.

“A little, but she didn’t mean it. She was just hurting. People do that. They don’t really mean it. They just don’t know what it’s like to be nice. So that’s why we gotta be nice. To show them.”

Because I learned something today.

Something big.

From someone small.

Who knows? Maybe you did too.

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