My oldest son Michael reminds me of Jiminy Cricket. The small cricket from Disney’s Pinocchio served as a friendly conscience to the title character. Overall, I think that my conscience is pretty soft and I try my best to do what is right. However, I have my blind spots and that is where Michael is there to shine a bright light on my shortcomings…with a smile.
Most recently, Michael sweetly pointed out that I was a thief. Although he lacked tact, he was right. Here’s the story…
A friend had taken me out to Alvin Ailey as a Christmas gift. After the (amazing!) show, I treated her to dinner at a nearby Irish spot. At the end of our meal, I paid with my credit card. I used the pen left by the waitress to sign the receipt…and absentmindedly slipped the pen into my purse. The next day, I was discussing my mistake with my husband when Michael chimed in.
“Mommy, you’re a thief! You could get arrested and go to jail for stealing that pen.” After I reassured him that it was highly improbable that I would be sent to jail, Michael didn’t stop. “I think that you should call the restaurant and let them know that you stole their pen. Maybe they want you to bring it back.”
Huh?! I agree that I need to be more careful about returning pens, but I just feel so silly at the thought of calling the restaurant to report myself. I can imagine the conversation:
Me: Hello. May I please speak to the manager?
Restaurant: Yes. What is this concerning?
Me: I mistakenly took a pen from your restaurant.
Restaurant: (After a pause) And?
Me: And I just wanted to let you know that I was sorry and to see if you wanted me to mail it back to you?
Restaurant: Are you serious? Am I getting punked? (That’s what I would think if I were on the other end of the call!)
Me: No, I’m serious. You see, I’m just trying to be a great example to my son.
Restaurant: Thanks lady, but really it’s alright. You can keep the pen. Have a great day.
Even though I think that it’s a little “extra”, I’m going to call the restaurant and offer to return the pen. Now, I just have to find that stolen pen so then when I make the offer to return it, I can actually do it!
Is it just my son or do your kids have super high moral expectations of you as parents too? Please tell me that I am not alone!
(Post image courtesy of The Brown Owl)