After work yesterday I headed over to the outdoor mall that is near to the hotel we are staying in here in Dedham. I zipped along the side of the road and then down the access ramp into the mall. Joe, walking, was a few minutes behind me. Once in the mall I drove slowly along looking in the stores and window shopping.
At one point I saw something in a store that I wanted a better look at, so I pulled up in front of one of the two entry doors and leaned forward to get a look. I really didn't have the intention of buying anything, I just love to tantalise myself with the idea of making a purchase. It's what I love about window shopping, it's what Joe hates about window shopping, so it was nice to have some time, while waiting for him to catch up, to just look around.
Suddenly two passersby, a mom and a boy of about 14 came by, the boy rushed forward to open the door for me. Wanting to be helpful, he was eager to jump in and be of assistance. His mom, though, put her hand on his arm, she said quietly to him, "Ask first, he may not want help." The boy turn his face to me and said, "Would you like the door opened?" I toyed for a second with accepting his help, even though I didn't want to go into the store because I wanted to reward him for his impulse to kindness. But then I thought that there was a bigger lesson to be learned here, that and I didn't want to then have to figure out how to get out of the store. Few stores in the mall have automatic openers.
I said, "No, I'm just window shopping, but I want to thank you for your kindness is asking and offering. I really appreciate it."
His mother looked, appropriately, proud of her boy.
What good parenting though. She helped him know how to best help me. If he learns to ask first, it will help him in so many areas of his life.
It's surprising how often those two go together!