The Facts of Life

Mike and I were at Chic-Fil-A yesterday with the girls.  It was miserably cold and rainy, so any outside playing was out of the question.  Finding an indoor play area becomes critical on days like this.  The mall area was overcrowded, and quite frankly, people do NOT watch their kids at that stupid place.  (The sign says "For kids 6 years old and younger" so the fact that it is overrun with older kids is a teeny weeny bit problematic for me.  I guess when my kids are 7, I might be thinking differently . . . but I digress).

So we went to Chick-Fil-A and enjoyed a nice, healthy salad and then let the girls play for a while.  Like most kids' play areas, though, there were some unattended kids in there just not being nice.

(As an aside, one of my FAVORITE things about Mike Jones is that he is the ENFORCER of the play area.  He's not gonna let any anyone get away with anything, and he ESPECIALLY is not going to let anyone be mean to his daughters!)

There were a couple of older boys, way beyond the height limit for the play area, being naughty and running over the little kids.  Someone went and got the boys' mom, and she came in to check things out.  She dropped a few expletives at her sons, at which point Mike Jones aka "The Enforcer" politely asked her to watch her language.  (I told you that he won't let anyone get away with anything!)

A couple of small girls came out of the play area and sat down near their mom.  They complained about the boys to their mom and one of them said, "They are mean.  They didn't like me."  I expected the mom to say, "I'm sorry that happened."  But instead she took that moment to teach some real life lessons.

She said, "Well, those boys shouldn't be mean, and they shouldn't even be in there.  But people don't always do what is right, and people are not always nice.  Sometimes you can only be responsible for yourself and do what you know is right."

The little girl said, "But Mommy, they didn't even like me."

The mom said, "That's okay.  They don't have to like you.  Everyone in life is not going to like you.  That's just life.  As you get older, you will discover many more people who don't like you.  But you will also have people in your life that love you, no matter what.  Those are your true friends."

She went on to say, "You will also see that there are people in life that you don't like.  You will have different personalities.  Maybe they will be loud and you are more of a quiet person.  Maybe they will be more into sports and you are more into reading.  There can be lots of reasons why a person doesn't "like" someone, but as long as you treat them like Jesus would want you to treat them, that's what matters."

The little girl looked at her mom.  You could tell she was really taking it all in.  And then she said, "Well, I was nice to those boys.  Even though they didn't like me.  But they hurt that little brown girl and her grandpa got really mad about that.  I don't think he liked them very much."

The mother looked over at me, a little chagrined at the girl's faux pas, and I laughed, assuring her that happens all the time (being mistaken for the grandparents).

Then the little girl said, "Can I have some ice cream?"

I love kids.  They make life so simple.  And they move on quickly.

All that to say, wouldn't it be awesome if all of life's lessons ended in ice cream?

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