I was in Laguna Beach earlier this evening watching a family try to leave Tommy Bahama. I say “try” because their daughter was enamored with the live music.
The woman singing and playing guitar was really, really good. The four-year-old thought so, too, because as they made their way to the front door, she stopped and stared, practically in a trance. Her eyes fell upon the woman’s guitar, then drifted up to her face, back down to her guitar, then up again.
The dad crouched down to his daughter’s level, interested in the three-foot view. His daughter bopped and swayed along with the beat, and they danced together in front of a bar filled with Hawaiian-print-clad adults drinking adult beverages and having their boring adult discussions. When the song ended she seemed suddenly shy. Her dad handed her a $1 bill for the tip jar.
The little girl couldn’t do it. She was frozen, afraid to approach the artist.
And then the musician did something that can only be described as awesome — she broke down the barriers, reaching out her hand with an open palm. The little girl toddled over and high-fived it. Cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
Just like that, the tip found its way into her tip jar and the woman resumed playing.
The family left, but a few moments later I spotted the little girl again. She’d broken free of her parents’ grip somewhere up the street and made her way back to the bar and live music.
That’s my kind of kid.
She sat herself down in front of the woman yet again, enchanted by her singing. The parents followed close behind; it took them only about three seconds to find her. The mom stood on one side, the dad knelt on the other. And they all took in the show.
Tonight I am thankful for catching a glimpse of parenting that resonated with me. (And, no, “kid in a bar” is not what I’m talking about.) Instead, I’m referring to two parents patient enough to give their daughter time to enjoy music, for giving her the time of day to experience life and who danced with her while admiring the talent before them. I don’t see a lot of patience in people these days, and even less in parents, but this little girl clearly lucked out with the ones she got.
For a duo that broke the parenting mold that I tend to see, I am thankful.