I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with just my girl recently. Since my son was out and about for special time with my husband, I offered to take her out and about for a snack; anywhere she wanted to go. Where would she like to go for a treat? Her choice.
Her choice? “Starbucks.”
(Gah!! I’ve completely corrupted my child!! She’s only six, for crying out loud!)
So….to Starbucks we went. It’s right around the corner from our house (wait….can’t pretty much everyone say that?) and as we pulled into the parking lot she asked if we could go to the girly-girl store that was in the strip mall behind the coffeeshop. I bargained: a trip to the home-stuff store for me, and I’d take her to her store.
After thoroughly enjoying her raspberry truffle cake pop (“Mommy! This is the best food I have ever eaten in my entire life!!”) we went to look at “her” store, one of those tween shops that’s really too old for her, with cute (expensive) clothes and a gazillion (pricey) accessories. As we pulled up, she announced that “just looking in the window makes me happy.” My stomach turned….am I raising some materialistic little brat? “Why does that store make you happy?”
“Because it’s all pink and purple! It’s just happy colors!”
We strolled the store, and she looked at everything, her enthusiasm unbounded. Not once did she ask for anything. Not once did she request, beseech, inquire, suggest, or demand. She was beyond happy just to look, to see all the fun stuff, and then, when we were done, to walk out empty-handed; chattering away about her favorite finds.
I’m still in awe of her attitude. Her willingness to deeply enjoy everything around her (especially the food), and her willingness to walk away from all of it with a smile on her face: she’d enjoyed it, and she’d have lovely memories of it, and now she was done. No greed, no ugliness in her heart; just a sincere joy in everything we did together.
Joyful gratefulness? Grateful joyfulness? I don’t know what to call it, but I want it.