When Lucy joined out family, she was as sweet as sweet can be. She was the baby everyone wanted to hold and play with. And when her soft ringlet curls started coming in, it only increased her appeal. She learned how to work the eyes, how to turn on the charm and how throwing your arms around someone's middle just might get you whatever you want.
Then, she learned a whole lot more about volume and attempted the screaming thing. (People didn't believe me but they soon learned.) And then she learned the manipulation thing. The lying thing. The scheming thing.
It breaks my heart. And it is something we work on daily. And the good part about it is that it shows how smart she is and how she is willing to work to get what she wants. But the downside is that it is hard to see her softer, pure heart through all that deceit.
Today I went to see the doctor my mom works for, Dr. Lance Clothey, and the girls LOOOVE getting to see Grandma Sisi and everyone in the office. They are there a lot and know that if they are good they get to help Gma Sisi behind the desk and get stickers. They also know that most of the time when they go in there, they get an apple from the bowl on the counter. Today there was a pear, and Lucy got to eat it and share it with Ella a bit too.
After the appointment today, as I was checking out, Lucy wandered out of the office and asked me if she could have an apple. I said yes and she walked off to the kitchen. I assumed that my mom said it was okay and told her where to get one-it had been done before.
Lucy came back happy with an apple. The girl loves apples and had been well behaved at the office so I was happy for her. I mention something to Mom on the other side of the counter and she says, "I didn't send her back there to get an apple."
Cue the record scratch sound and absolute mortification.
"Um, Lucy where did you get the apple from?"
Lucy tells us she got it out of the fridge and we are realizing that it is most likely Kathy's. Sweet, wonderful Kathy who brings an apple with her lunch every day. Lucy has stopped eating it and is flushed head to toe. I am having a hard time knowing what to do.
I bent down and explained to her that she can't just go into the staff fridge and help herself to anything. That this apple was part of Mrs. Kathy's lunch and Lucy just took it. I wasn't about to slam down the big "STOLEN" word because I wasn't 100% sure she had taken the apple maliciously. But then again, I wasn't sure. I was praying for a sign.
My 4 year old daughter, who was very sad, turned her face up to me and said very softly, "Mommy? Can I go an apologize to Mrs. Kathy?" And her eyes filled with tears. She just looked at the apple in her hand and it was clear she was not going to enjoy a bite of it until she was able to apologize. Every step we took down the hallway, Lucy moved herself forward. I was choked up seeing her strong desire to do the right thing.
We found Kathy, explained what happened and Lucy cried and begged for forgiveness. She gave Kathy a hug and we all were wiping our eyes. Kathy told Lucy she forgave her and asked her to please enjoy the apple because it was okay for Lucy to have it. And she enjoyed every bite. I suspect that after that forgiveness, it was even tastier.
It was one of those moments that reminds me to keep doing what I am doing. That on the days where it feels that my examples and life lessons and verbal instruction on the "Right Things" to do are falling on deaf ears, they are, in fact, piercing through the exterior. Because today, I was able to catch a glimpse of my daughter's true heart. And let me tell you, it was beautiful.