This morning I went back to the dentist. The dentist where I encountered Natalie's Mother. It was 6:45 in the morning, which in my very humble opinion is just way too early to be, well, anywhere... but particularly at the dentist. So it was early, and chilly (hush, all you people who live on the east coast. It was chilly for me with my now thinned Arizona blood) and I was sitting waiting to be called when another mom came in with a beautiful little blonde-haired, blue-eyed four year old.
The mom clearly had a cold, or allergies or something, because she kept blowing her nose. And there was some kind of snafu with her insurance paperwork. She was up and down at least half a dozen times as the receptionist kept calling her back. And all the while, her little girl, Mackenzie, was talking and talking and talking.... asking questions about everything from the trash can to the TV to the magazines on the table.
And this mom was smiling and patiently (oh. so. patiently.) answering each and every question the girl asked. Not in a "because that's just the way it is," kind of way, but in a real, thoughtful, honest kind of way. I truly loved listening to them interact while I waited. She was speaking to her so respectfully. So kind. So loving.
It's actually odd (and sad) now that I'm thinking about it. Everyone should be treating their kids this way. The fact that it stood out to me makes me think that it's more the exception than the rule. And shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't we be surprised when we see people NOT treating their kids with kindness and respect? But I was. I was surprised, pleasantly surprised, to see someone acting with such a great amount of patience, especially at the dentist. At 6:45 in the morning. With a cold. And an insurance issue. Too many people take their kids for granted. Too many people try to tune them out.
So I want to thank her, this stranger who made me smile this morning, for setting such a beautiful example. No excuses, no drama. Just kindness.
That is the kind of mother I want to be.