Like a momma scorned...
The dollar store lady made me lose my cool.
My 4 bigs went to the $ store to buy some face paint for circus night at awana. While they were there, a friend of ours approached them & invited Charter to a birthday party later on in the day - just a casual thing - so Charter thought he'd like to buy a little bday gift there too. While they were looking for a gift, the lady from the store came up to them & said, "This isn't a babysitting service.. Either buy something or leave".. Cai was mortified & scooted the kids out of the store without buying anything... i was livid when she called me from the cell (it's only a couple of blocks away) & i phoned the store. The lady even admitted they were being good, "But," she said, "Lots of kids their age come in here to steal"... Talk about ageism & profiling!! Should i have had more grace??
Immediately after the phone call, i cried. i'm a girl - and conflict makes me uncomfortable. i second guessed my first *roaring* impulse of protective motherliness - & wondered if i should have just let it be. One of my favourite quotes after all, is from my mother who said, "It's not my job to go around correcting every ignorant person in the world. If it was, it'd be a full time job."
But then, i remembered that afternoon in grade 3. Our class had been to the swimming pool for lessons. i was a bit of a loner - & a tiny bit shy. When we got back to the school, our teacher was furious with us for taking so long in the changerooms after our lessons. She tore into us - (she tended to have a bit of a temper) & in front of the whole class, singled me out & LIED about me. i was an extremely modest kid - even for an 8 year old - & she said... "People like Paige - just standing in the middle of the room naked, talking instead of getting ready!!"
At the word 'naked'... my heart froze.
i could feel the shame creeping up my neck.
When i changed - there were no stalls, but i remember holding my towel around me to try to cover myself & changing quickly to get out of there.
i have no idea what else she said, but it was the end of the day & the bell rang. i grabbed my bag & held my breath, my ears ringing - till i saw my mom waiting in the car... then all the tears and embarrassment came out in the safety of my momma's arms.
My mom listened to me for about 4 seconds & then said, "Wait right here." & went into the school.
i don't know what she said - or how mean ol' Mme. Helene reacted - but i did know that my mom stood up for me that day.
As i remembered what it felt like to have an adult - my mom - on my team, i knew i had done the right thing.
It's not my job to correct every ignorant person in the world... but on Wednesday, it was -
So, i did.