Every so often, Amber and I have the chance to see in action what we have been trying to instill in Kaitlyn. And it warms our hearts every time.
The other day, I was spending some quality time with Kaitlyn, just the two of us. We had some important things planned for the day, and we both like to keep to our schedules. We were at Toys ‘R Us shopping for one last Christmas present when Kaitlyn did something that I was and remain very proud of.
We had just gotten finished checking out, and we were grabbing our bag to go, when the lady behind us in line opened her wallet, and change came popping out. As she was picking up a handful of change on her left, a solitary penny fell out. I asked Kaitlyn to pick the penny up and hand it back to her. In what was either a moment of Christmas cheer or blatant disregard for a lowly penny, the woman said that Kaitlyn could keep it, and of course, Kaitlyn went all shy on her. I thanked her and we headed out.
As we were leaving the store, I was holding on to her right hand, and she had the penny in her left. At this point I figured Kaitlyn got some additional “snow money” to add to her growing collection, but she had other plans. Kaitlyn shoved the penny into my hand, to which I responded that it was her penny to keep. She said that I had to keep it and not add it to her “snow money” because, “it’s not my (her) penny.”
I was floored. Here is a little girl who had the opportunity to expand her stash of money, and she wanted no part of it because it was not hers. We got back to the car and she still did not want to hold it.
Amber and I try to make sure that Kaitlyn shares, and that she does not take what is not hers. We never imagined the extreme to which she would carry out those instructions. I would venture a guess here and say that a vast majority of children would have taken that penny as theirs and moved on, and that is what I would have done at her age (and even at my age I would do the same thing). There is no substitute for doing what is right, and to Kaitlyn, there is no gray area that would allow her to take what was not hers in this case. She taught me yet another lesson that day, and it is that rules are rules for a reason, and we should follow them no matter what.