I went to get my oil changed over lunch today. I wasn’t expecting anything to happen. When I arrived, there was a little girl in the waiting area, and her mom was talking to someone about brakes. She was going to color a rainbow (to keep her busy while her mom talked). “Mom, Mom, Mom…. what color comes next? Yellow???” The mother was ignoring her. I’m not judging, I’ve been there. 1,000 questions from your 4 year old and you’re just trying to figure out something with your vehicle. “Mom, mom, mommy…. what color is next?” This went on for a while. The mother went to an office to talk about a different car, and the girl stayed coloring in the lobby. She struck up a conversation. “What color comes after yellow?” “Green,” I told her. “It’s like the rainbow on your skirt.” She was wearing a cute little skirt with rainbow colors and sparkly silver sandals. She came and sat down by me, not scared at all. She told me who she was coloring the picture for, what their dogs names were, about gymnastics & fairs and rainbows. And my heart just smiled. I put my phone down and had a conversation with a little girl who just wanted to be heard. And seen (she showed me some “tricks” she could do). She brushed away her brown hair from her face and her eyes lit up. She would sometimes run over and ask her mom a clarifying question, “what was the name of the ride I like at the fair?”… then she’d skip back over to me and finish her story.
When they were getting ready to leave, I reminded her to take her picture. She told her mom that she had been talking to this girl, and smiled at me. I’m not called a girl much anymore. At 44, I’m usually referred to as “ma’am or miss.” I told her to have a great day and she skipped out the door. She was a reminder today to listen to little kids. I know it can get annoying at times, but they don’t stay 4 for long. One day, her mom will pick her up for the last time. One day, she will be more worried about boys than rainbows. Some of my “one days” have come and gone and my sons are growing taller than me. I won’t get that time back. Regrets or not, I can’t undo the past. I can listen more going forward. I can try to spend more time with them and not rush.
The oil change today changed my perspective. The little rainbow girl will stay in my head & remind me to have more fun and to listen. Whatever journey you’re on, I hope you’re able to impact the life of a child. Whether it’s your kid, your grandkids, a neighbor kid, or a little girl at a car dealership… take 15 minutes. Listen to their magical story and it might just change your day.