On one of our visits to the mall, Miss 5 wanted to pay her regular visit to the playpen. It’s always a very hearty experience for her because she can let her hair down and simply chill. She is her happiest self when I am just about to swipe for her entry.
On one such occasion, we were in the queue when we noticed a family with 3 children right before us. The parent of the children asked the attendant to swipe the card for 2 kids only since the youngest (aged approximately 3) was with special needs. Miss 5 was curious to know why the third child was left and asked me the same. The only reason I could muster up was that it’s the parents’ decision (I’m still so ashamed of coming with a response like this!). She argued saying that the kid clearly wanted to go with his siblings then why are they not allowing. I was quiet.
She instantly came up with a remedy stating that if his parents can’t send him, why don’t we swipe for him too. I smiled and agreed. In the meanwhile the mother of the child overheard our conversation and took the wailing baby away. Miss 5 was disappointed that we never really got to help the child. Children are well, but children and Miss 5 got along with her routine. I bade her off for the time being with such pride in my heart for the kindness that she displayed.
I went about my business around the mall and even though I swelled with pride, there was something else that I kept feeling. I felt like a failure for myself. Even though I had passed on the feeling of compassion to my child, possibly, I may have in the process created a void for self in that department. I was as much a witness to the whole scenario as my child but she showed the courage to defend and take measures to correct it. I did not! I was too caught up in the feeling that people around in hushed tones would be repulsed by me interfering. It was the kind of shame I would feel if I were to litter around telling my child not to. Shame! Maybe the policy of the playpen was not to take in kids with special needs since they are not equipped enough to handle them, but I would not know that. Simply, because I did not have the courage to ask!
Do you remember a scene from ‘The Wedding Planner‘ when Matthew McConaughty throws away the colored M & Ms because they seem to be artificial and are not actually chocolate.
Similarly, it is in moments like these that I feel like a pack of ‘M&Ms’ – chocolate but colored.
Image courtesy : Google