When I was in college, prior to being a mother, my favorite t-shirt read, “Mean People Suck.” I loved this sentiment—clear and concise, and most importantly, my opinion. My conscience was pricked on occasion when I heard conference talks addressing the importance of clean language though and I stopped wearing the shirt. As soon as I became a mother of early readers the shirt took up residence in the deep recesses of my dresser drawers as opposed to its previous home, hanging in full view, front and center in my closet.
This week I decided I need a new t-shirt . . one that shares the same sentiment, but with a positive approach. Something like, “Nice People ROCK.” Nice people, like the store clerk who gave my sweet daughter a balloon when she noticed her longingly admiring them with wide eyes. It not only made Britta’s day to have a pearly pink balloon with curly ribbon—it eased the conscience of this mama who was feeling so guilty for dragging her toddler on a day full of errands for the third time in one week. (There are much better ways to spend our time but when motherly duty calls I tend to answer—the tricky part is when my children’s needs conflict with one another. That’s when things get a bit murky, but I digress. . . ) I’m sure that store clerk had no idea the positive impact she was having on our day but her small act of kindness made all the difference.
Nice people like the patient man with the kind smile who complimented my Britta even though she was getting impatient and grumpy after waiting in line for nearly an hour for seats to her siblings’ musical. I want to focus on nice people like him instead of the ones flashing looks of disapproval and judgment my way.
Even more importantly, I want to be one of these people, I want each of my children to be one of these people . . . one of these nice people who rocks.
I loved watching Britta have so much fun with her balloon. The best was seeing her carry it around the house saying, “Taat, Taat, it looks like rain. Taat, taat, it looks like rain.” Clever Girl.