The weather is absolutely dreary. There's been a gray cloud hanging in the sky for two days now and the weather is thankfully turning cooler. Cold weather (or cool weather for those who live up North) is a huge blessing for those of us who don't get it very often.
Violet and I made the best of the dreary weather-like conditions and braved the roads. When I say, "braved the roads", that is absolutely the truth! This part of Houston is much busier than where we lived before. I was afraid of getting lost but God smiled on me and had mercy on my travel frightened nerves. I managed not to get lost! That's a major accomplishment for someone who's directionally challenged like me.
I took Violet to a huge mall for some shopping. I tried to exchange a few items at a children's clothing store and got completely frustrated when they tried to jipp me of my money. I kept my cool and was a good model of patience and grace for my daughter who was watching everything I did and said today. If you picked up on a sound of pride in that last sentence you're right. I am proud of how I handled things because I was pretty ticked off with the store.
Violet was an angel today as we walked, shopped and ate our lunch. She hasn't ridden in her stroller in over a year now because she'd rather walk than ride. Today, I pulled her stroller out of the closet and prayerfully loaded it in the car. Violet never complained about being put in the stroller! She asked a few times to walk and was patient with me when I told her "not yet". I think I did a good job making her ride in the stroller as enjoyable as possible. As a reward for being so well-behaved, I took Violet for a ride on the carousel and bought her a big balloon. Two dollars and fifty cents is not a high price to pay for a child that worked hard at being good.
Violet was such a delight today, so much so that I just cannot stop thinking of our day. Everywhere we went she was chatty with everyone we met. Violet would tell everyone hi and bye, complete strangers that happened to walk by us. The waitress that took care of us during lunch was very impressed with how well behaved Violet was and how well she speaks. The waitress made a huge fuss over Violet and you could see the pleasure on her face as she beamed under the praise.
One especially tender moment, and a proud one for me, is when we were at JC Penny. A mentally challenged young lady came up to Violet and was very enthusiastic upon her approach. Violet looked to me for guidance and didn't react harshly to the stranger with a special personality. I closely watched Violet as she interacted with this young lady, watching for any signs of stress or fear, and what I witnessed was a tender heart with a huge capacity for love and grace. My heart broke as the young lady's mother tried to pull her daughter away from us, as she repeatedly said thank you. By watching the mother's response to us I realized that they have had some rough encounters over the years. I was proud of my little girl in how she didn't react to this young lady. Violet's tender heart and actions ministered a small measure of grace and love to that mother and daughter and I couldn't be more proud.