The other day I was watching the TV show "America's Got Talent." They are in the auditions phase so there are really good acts and ones that are not as good. One that the producers chose to highlight was of a man who gives out compliments. That's his shtick so to speak. Unfortunately, he will not be making it to the next round. The judges were not impressed.
As I watched his act, I couldn't help but to think of my daughter. I affectionately call her The Compliment Queen. She feels it is her civic duty to compliment small children and ladies.
When she was around five or six, I tried to curb this a bit by saying, "It's OK if you don't compliment everyone." Her response was, " But mom how will they know their (purse, doll, dog etc.) is amazing if I don't tell them?" I was dumbfounded, and still am today, as to how to answer that question. Instead, I keep close tabs on her. I've also given her a few rules. One of these is that she make sure it is alright with me before approaching the intended recipient of her compliment.
My whole week was made yesterday when she made a little girl's day. We were finishing up eating at a fast food restaurant, when a young family arrived. I noticed that their daughter had a disability, but I wasn't certain if my daughter had. Still, I wondered what compliment she was ready to hand out. I could tell that she wanted to engage this family in a conversation, however, they were at the drink station filling up their drink cups. My daughter glanced at me before going over to them. I explained that it wasn't the right time. Thankfully, she complied and finished her own taco. Soon it was time for us to leave. I'd completely forgotten about this young family. My daughter, on the other hand, had not. After throwing her trash away, she slipped over to them and declared, "Excuse me, I just wanted to tell you that you are rocking those hearing aids." That phrase was music to my ears. I think the family was a little shocked that my daughter, who looks perfectly normal, would say something so kind. What they didn't know is that my child has her own disabilities that are often invisible to most people.
As we exited the restaurant, I made sure to give my Compliment Queen her very own compliment for brightening that family's day.
One day my daughter may not give as many compliments as she does now. That will be a sad day in my book. In the meantime, I will appreciate and applaud her efforts. May there be more humans in the world like her and the Compliment Man.