Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Daughter is Like Someone Else Too

"Hello," Amanda greets the Panera employee she encounters as she rounds the corner to throw away her trash. The employee is taken aback, "Oh, hello," she answers, and smiles.

Simply typing "Hello" can't convey Amanda's tone. It's not the furtive "Hi" or polite smile that one gives as you pass someone on the street. It's full of meaning, more along the lines of "I'm friendly, and I love people. I noticed you. I hope you're having a nice day."

I've noticed this admirable quality in Amanda lately. She's the kind of child who will look an adult in the eye and have a conversation with them. I love that about her.

Recalling a situation that occurred when my dad (Pops to the kids) was here in May illustrates where she gets it.

We were walking through the parking lot after leaving church. All of us were headed left, to the car, and Dad's stride suddenly lengthened and picked up pace as he walked straight ahead, hand extended in greeting, "Are you really from Texas?" he asked, nodding toward the Texas license plate on the family vehicle they just exited.

"Yes. We just moved here," the man answered as his wife and three little ducks huddled around him.

That caught my attention, so I walked over and introduced myself to his wife. I got her name, email address, and phone number, because I know what's like to be a transplant.** We got in the car, and I said, "Thanks, Dad, for going over there. I'm sure it meant a lot to them to meet someone before they even walked into the church."

"Well, certainly. I saw that Texas plate, and I couldn't not say something."

"Stan never met a stranger," his partner Susan chimed in, chuckling, having witnessed similar scenes a multitude of times.


**I'm ashamed to say that I have not called or emailed that woman. I will. Perhaps today. We left for our vacation the next day, and when I returned we were in full-tilt "end of school" mode. That's no excuse, and every time I think of that scrap of paper with her email address on it that is in purse, I have a pang of regret over that unfinished business.


Trish said...

My son will start conversations with anyone now - we are working on knowing how to talk about what they are interested in and when to end a conversation! All in all, an amazing place to be!!

Rachelle said...

I have a daughter like that, too. My drawers are full of scraps of paper where she's collected people's phone numbers and email addresses!

Dad said...

I am enjoying meeting all the new people moving into our recently developed suddivision.
Helped a couple across the street with dryer pigtail connection (I had done on ours). Also helped install some bathroom items he needed (had polio as a child). Susan said, "I'm proud of you for helping". I was just doing whay I wanted - a good way to know new people.
Amanda, keep up the smiling, speaking and introduce yourself to new classmates this fall.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

My girl is not like that at all. In fact, this morning I was just arguing with her because she hardly speaks to adults who talk to her (unless she knows them EXTREMELY well). She mumbles, but that's about it. After I left her, I realized that I was wrong to impose my personality on her. I'm outgoing, but she's a bit shy. Hubby was exactly the same at that age, he says. I realized I need to lay off.

So wonderful that your dad has that gift, and that Amanda takes after him.

heather said...

Sounds like my hubby. He could have a conversation with Margaret Thatcher one day and the child down the street the next.

Anonymous said...

That is the reason everyone loves Stan!!! I am glad that Amanda goes forth often. Your dad's expolits remind me of Steve's grandfather who talks and flirts with everyone he meets! Someday, I'd like a little more of that forwardness! Martha

Dad said...

Another Granddaughter certainly is outgoing in her approach to meeting people. Three year old Isabella, while at our neighborhood pool, to a 4-5 year old girl, "What's your name?".
No answer, the girl was playing with an older sister. Five minutes later, when girl swam by,"What's your favorite color?"
Good approach!
Way to go, Girls!!
Jennifer was not quiet so outgoing when young.
To her sister, Karen, "Go ask that girl if she wants to play with us?"

rickismom said...

Ricki (age 13) can one time be open and talkative, and another time stick out her tongue! (Actually, she no longer sticks out her tongue--we've been working on that!)
I quess the difference is the "Vibes" she sees. The problem is, little kids, not realizing WHY she looks different, have a tendency to stare. Then she stares back, scowels, and growels, and scares them completely. So much for our "spreading the Cheer of Down syndrome" campaign! LOL

Beck said...

My oldest munchkin is SO painfully shy that it breaks my heart. I wish she knew YOUR girl, too.

Katrina said...

That is really a neat gift, and I loved the little insight that let us see where it came from. (AND, I love your dad's comment, reminding us that *you* may share in this characteristic.) :)

I certainly never had that trait, and Camden doesn't either. Oh, he'll talk your ear off, but he will wait for *you* to initiate contact first. We'll see how Logan turns out.

Katrina said...

Okay, well, I missed that one. I see that Karen was the one sent on the "extroverted mission." Although, I think you still beat me -- I never wanted "that girl" to come play with me. I was happy to be playing alone.