Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dignity, Class and Grace

I was at the grocery store and kept finding myself on the same aisle as a woman and her two small children. I wasn't eavesdropping on her conversations but I did hear her say some very specific things to her children which I admired.

First, we met in the pasta aisle. Her son proceeded to tell her that he wanted to ditch soccer so he could go to ballet with his sister. His mom replied, "Well, you should know there won't be a lot of boys at ballet to make friends with. But, there are a lot of girls you can be friends with and ballet is really fun. Whatever activity you want to do is fine by me."

Then, we crossed paths again in the cheese department. The woman was talking with another shopper who had lost all of her hair, presumably from chemotherapy. The women parted ways but not before the son could begin questioning why the woman didn't have hair. I should note here, her son was very young, and not being derogatory in any way, just questioning the way a child would. So then the mom replies, "She has a disease that requires her to take special medicine. The medicine is what made her lose her hair. She is a very brave person and we are very proud to be friends with her!" The woman with cancer was still within hearing distance so she turned and replied, "Thanks for that; your answer made me feel good!"

I guess more than anything I liked that she answered on the spot and didn't put her kids off. She didn't discourage her son from a traditionally female institution and she didn't shy from discussing cancer, a disease which impacts most all people at some point or another.

Yup, parenting is scary!


  1. It's nice to see that there are still some really good parents out there. It seems like sometimes all we get to see are the bad ones. =)

  2. What a sweet story. I try so hard to answer my son's questions in a reasonably "grown-up" way - but still making sure it is age-appropriate. That can be tricky! Making sure to avoid gender stereotypes is VERY important to our family. My son picked out Purple-licious at his school's book fair... and my husband happily bought it for him, without a word about it being a "girl" book. And recently, when he asked if he could paint his nails, my hubby just told him that he would have to find a chemical-free polish first - lol!