Thank You, Please, Smile and Good Day
"Don't forget to say 'Thank you'" the mother told her 12 month old son.
The little boy grinned and said "Tank ewe" and took the book from the lady that was standing behind the counter.
I was standing right behind them, and I couldn't help but to overhear this conversation. The mom smiled at me and turned away with her son and left the store. I paid for my purchase and left too.
My next stop was the grocery store. As I was standing in the checkout lineup, low and behold, the lady and her young son were once again ahead of me in the lineup. She turned, and smiled at me. Her little boy turned his head to see who she was looking at. He checked me out and then gave me a wide toothy smile. I smiled back and said "Hi". He turned around and began looking at an inviting display of candy bars and gum.
It didn't take very long for the little boy to register what he saw. He pulled at his mom's sleeve and pointed to the candy. She looked at him and he started to ask "Mah-mee, candee". She shook her head and replied "How do you ask?" This time, he shook his head and cried back "MAH-MEEEEEE, CAN-DEEEE!!". Without being fazed, she smiled again, and spoke to him gently "How do you ask?" He shook his head, and his eyes flooded and overflowed with his tears. He sniffled and wiped his eyes some more. She didn't say another word and he looked at her with belligerent eyes. They looked at each other for a full 30 seconds before he finally said "Pweeze?". She smiled and chose a box of Smarties for him. He turned to me and gave me another big toothy grin.
Once again, they made their purchase and left the store. I paid for my purchase and headed out the door to the bank. Well, guess who was in front of me in the line up at the bank? You guessed it -- the mom and her little smiling boy. He was holding the box with one hand while the other hand searched and fished out a blue Smartie. He quickly popped it into his mouth.
The line up was quick, and I completed my transaction at the same time she did. I proceeded to pass her to the exit door, but pulled up suddenly when I heard the sound of plink plink as individual Smarties hit the floor. As I turned around, the little boy's mouth formed a perfect "O" and then his shrilling cry escaped past his lips. She was horror struck as he wailed and cried over his spilt Smarties. I walked over to her and picked up the box, hoping that there might be a few left inside. Unfortunately, it was completely empty.
There was nothing she could do but console him. His happy smile was gone, replaced by a stream of tears. She was devastated that there was nothing she could do. At that moment, a bank representative came up to her and took out a mini box of Smarties. Hearing the Smarties box shake, the little boy stopped crying and, with great curiosity, looked in her hand to see the tiny box. "Here you go" she said to the little boy. All sadness gone, he smiled at her and took the mini box and said "Tank ewe". The representative was surprised by his unexpected response. She smiled a large smile and said "You have a good day now" and stepped away.
Once again, we all left the building together.
A simple reflection with a simple message. Courtesy and appreciation, coupled with a smile and a few words of kindness, can change a person's perspective, mood and day. Every child should be taught this so that they will be able to enjoy and share the beauties of each day with themselves and others.