On Sunday, the 27th of December 2015, I had left my partner’s home and was driving home after spending a wonderful Christmas with her. During the time I was there, we bought, put up and decorated the tree. A tradition that comes from Germany, the country of her birth. We cooked Christmas dinner together, continually sampling the dressing as it cooked away in the crock-pot. Making certain that it still tasted as good as it did the last time it was stirred. We smiled, laughed and spent time together. Time that I cherish no matter where we are or what we are doing. I am fortunate, I am blessed.
On the way home, I stopped at a services for a coffee, a meal and a much needed bathroom break and that was when it happened. As I strolled into the facilities, looking this way and that for a vacant cubicle, I noticed a young girl and her mother who were walking ahead of me. The young girl kept glancing over her shoulder at me and whispering rather loudly to her mother. I entered a cubicle, did what I came to do and walked out. It wasn’t until I got into the more open section of the building and was trying to decide if I wanted a sandwich or a hot meal that I really gave mother and daughter any thought.
Just as I made my decision and turned to join the line for the cooked meals, a female voice behind me softly said “Excuse me”. I turned to face the disembodied voice and saw both mother and daughter standing there. The young girl’s cheeks were cherry red from an embarrassed blush and the mother was smiling brightly. “I wonder if I could take up a moment of your time” the mother said. I nodded and replied affirmatively and she continued. “I wanted to apologize for my daughter’s behavior in the restroom”. I was surprised but tried not to show just how much. I smiled softly and glanced at the young girl before looking her mother in the eye and telling her that while an apology wasn’t needed, it was appreciated. What I didn’t say, was it would have been even more appreciated if it had come from the young girl, who appeared to be about thirteen.
The mother went on to explain that her daughter had assumed I was male due to my attire and my extremely short hair. I nodded as I listened knowing full well that at first glance to most people, I do appear to be male. It isn’t just my attire or my haircut, it is also the energy I give off, my mannerisms, my bearing and of course my lack of breasts. For those of you reading my blog for the first time, I lost them to cancer fourteen years ago. Anyway, I digress. The mother told me that she was trying to make sure that her daughter was brought up to know that not everyone is the same. That being the same as the next person, whether they are a stranger, a friend or a family member is not good. That people should be themselves, that they should be comfortable with who they are.
It was refreshing to hear this. In a world where so many parents try to force their children to embrace their beliefs and norms. I know at least one young girl that has been given a choice. I hope she takes full advantage of that and grows up to be a responsible and caring adult.
So as the title states, I offer a silent thank you to this mother having verbally thanked her at the time. I wish there were more like her.