My crank-o-meter is about to burst. We are standing in the food aisles at Walmart on a Saturday morning. My husband has to work today so I have our 3 & 5 year old daughters to do the weekly shopping. You can just feel how it’s been going based on my youngest’s cries and my oldest’s whining. I continue to breathe deep as we turn to the milk aisle. I begin to fill the cart when my five-year-old cries out, “Money!!!”
I look to where she is pointing excitedly, and there on the floor is a twenty dollar bill and a receipt. I tell her to get it. We look around to see who might be looking for it. I ask her if she knows who it belonged to. She gives me a brief description and says we need to find him. We race all around the store and look down every cash line up. We cannot find him.
I kneel down and tell her we need to turn it in to customer service in case the owner is looking for it. We proceed to the counter and tell the story to the clerk. She gives my daughter a high-five for her honesty. We finish our shopping and get to a very long line-up at the check-out.
I reflect on what just happened and feel a spark in my heart. I have no idea what motivated her to find the owner. I shake my head thinking about all the discussions to arguments wondering if she ever hears me try to tell her life’s lessons. And just when I do not expect anything but a sassy attitude, she shows compassion for a complete stranger. She is honest in her quest to find the rightful owner.
I tell her because of her complete honesty and how proud I am of her to go pick a chocolate bar in the candy section by the till. She ponders with delight and then comes back with one for her and one for her sister. She surprises me again. We pack up our cart and go to the exit. We then see whom she said lost the money. After telling our tale he informs us it wasn’t him that lost the bill. Much to our dismay we smile and head off to the car.
Because of her unselfish act I sincerely hope that we find the rightful owner to let her see the face of whom she helps. Then I realize it does not matter if we find the person who lost the money. What I gain as a mother is the knowledge that she does hear me for when it counts. She did what came from her heart. Honesty is one of the most crucial life skills one can learn. Somehow we win as her parents that she picked it up somehow. I am so honored to be her mom.