During weekly visits to my allergist, I’ve noticed a lot of inattentive parents with ill-behaved children in the waiting room. So I was impressed one day to see a mother with her little boy, helping him sound out the words on a sign.
Finally he mastered it and his mother cheered, "That’s great! Now sit there. I’ll be back in 15 minutes."
What did the sign say?
"Children must not be left unattended."
Rushing to get to the movies, my husband and I told the kids we had to leave "right now" — at which point our teenage daughter headed for the bathroom to apply makeup. Her dad yelled for her to get in the car immediately, and headed for the garage grumbling.
On the way to the multiplex my husband glanced in the rearview mirror and caught our teen applying lipstick and blush, which produced the predictable lecture. "Look at your mom," he said. "She didn’t put on any makeup just to go sit in a dark movie theater."
From the back I heard, "Yeah, but Mom doesn’t need makeup." My heart swelling with the compliment, I turned back to thank this sweet, wonderful daughter of mine just as she continued, "Nobody looks at her."
Walking through the hallways at the middle school where I work, I saw a new substitute teacher standing outside his classroom with his forehead against a locker. I heard him mutter, "How did you get yourself into this?"
Knowing he was assigned to a difficult class, I tried to offer moral support. "Are you okay?" I asked. "Can I help?"
He lifted his head and replied, "I’ll be fine as soon as I get this kid out of his locker."