My eight year old daughter did what all kids do, she asked for things every single time she saw something cute at a friends, on TV or in stores. We were young parents struggling to make our mortgage payments so when she asked, “Can you buy me that mommy…please?” my standard answer was always, “I’m sorry, we simply can’t afford it.”
Finally she stopped asking.
One day I heard my 10 year old daughter shout for me to come quickly. I was sure I heard her say that Shanna was stealing money from my purse! I raced to the kitchen where I found my purse on the floor with Shanna’s hand still in it…frozen in a moment of dread.
I was utterly shocked and feeling horribly disappointed. I wondered where she had learned to steal? Did she really think she could get away with it?
By now Shanna was crying much harder and looking as traumatized as me. I managed to remain calm while I gently but firmly asked her, “how could you take something that isn’t yours?”
Through her sobs she managed to say, “I didn’t…honest. I’m not taking anything.”
“Well then,” I asked accusingly, “what are you doing?”
I was stunned when she explained through her tears, “You always say you can’t buy stuff cuz you can’t afford it. I was putting $5.00 in your purse so you’d have some money.”
That remarkably sweet gesture became even more heartfelt when she confessed she had been making a monthly deposit of $5.00 into my purse for over a year. She then asked, “Has it been helping, mommy? Does it make you smile?”
I dropped to the floor with her where I squeezed my eyes shut because I was crying harder than anyone. I held and rocked my adorable, thoughtful daughter hoping I could squeeze the moment to a halt and make it last. Shanna stayed cuddled in my arms for as long as she could before announcing she needed to go because she had “things to do.”
Over the next decade or so, Shanna carried out more covert missions. She has continually inspired me with her sweetness. Am I smiling? Absolutely beaming!
Monique Howat is a dedicated mom of three daughters. She inspires and motivates youth and adults with over 100 presentations a year, is an author and creator of Confident Girls and Guys. To find out more about Confident Girls and Guys and Monique's next workshop, visit http://www.confidentgirlsguys.com , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905 986-1441.