At the risk of sounding old and crotchety, I’m kind of into that whole respect your elders thing.  Not the bowing and scraping, fetch me a drink sort of respect.  More a watch your sassing and behave in public respect.

Yep.  Respect is a pretty big deal for me.

Picture this (all true stories):

The kids and I were waiting in a checkout line when the six-year-old behind us pitched a total fit over his mom refusing to buy him a candy bar.  And when I say fit I mean fist clenching, voice raised, “I-hate-you-you-never-buy-me-anything-you-ALWAYS-SAY-NO!” shrieking.  No voice of reason could quell his fury, so we were forced to endure his endless whining until we finally escaped the checkout.

Bear and I were watching T-man’s soccer practice when I was distracted by what I’ll politely call a scene unfolding nearby.  It was some sort of family dispute – there were raised voices, but they were just muddled enough that I could only make out bits and pieces.  The crux seemed to be that the stepmother said it was time to leave and (this always astounds me) a boy who looked about first grade flat out refused.  Not only said no, he wasn’t going, but followed it up with ugliness that made my jaw drop.  It was around the time he called her a “big fat liar” that I snapped.  WTH?!

The four of us were getting lunch out when I noticed the people at a nearby table.  Three of the five had their noses stuck in phones, barely paying attention to what was happening around them.  When their food arrived the mother told one of the teens to put up her phone; for her trouble she was treated to an eye roll, heavy sigh, and Whatever.

I’m grateful that my kids display a healthy respect for BrightSide and me.  Even more so, though, I’m grateful that my kids were just as horrified by these children and their behavior as I was.

They stared in shock at kids who were doing the unthinkable, often commenting once we were out of earshot that they couldn’t believe how rude they were.

Respect.  It’s priceless.

My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.