My youngest daughter came to me with a difficult question the other day: “Mommy, why are some people not nice?”
I paused for a moment, trying to come up with an answer that she would understand. But before I could answer, she followed up with a statement.
“I always try to be kind to everyone,” she said. I pulled her in for a hug, kissing the top of her head. She is kind and sets a great example for the rest of our family. The conversation then turned to one of the most difficult subjects I think parents have to tackle in today’s world — bullying.
“Mommy, have you ever been bullied?” She asked.
I tried to take myself back in time and remember a specific incident. I’m sure I had. Everyone has been bullied at some point in their lives. But I wanted a clear example that she could really relate to.
I told her about the time in second grade when I had saved up my milk money from lunch for an entire week so that I could buy a treat during our monthly movie presentation in the school cafeteria. As I was walking gingerly down the crowded stairway with a palm full of dimes, one of the older boys jostled me and sent the dimes sprawling across the stairwell in every direction. As I got down to retrieve them, not only did no one help me, but the kids walked on my hands and knocked me down to the ground. The other kids also swiped most of my dimes. Finally, a teacher saw what was going on and helped me up.
“How man dimes did you lose?” My daughter asked wide-eyed after I was done with my story.
“I don’t know, baby, about forty cents maybe. It was a long time ago,” I replied.
The next morning as I was washing dishes at the sink I felt a little tug on my shirt. My daughter handed me a small sealed envelope and then skipped away. I opened it to find four dimes inside. My heart swelled and I could feel tears in the corners of my eyes.
Folks, it doesn’t get much better than this…
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.