I've heard it defined before that: "Integrity means doing the right thing even when no one is watching". I think there's more to that - I think it sometimes means doing the right think even when it comes at a cost to you. Today, my daughter defined that for me, and I couldn't be more proud of her. She doesn't know it yet, but both her parents will probably be greeting her when they see her next with tears and a huge hug.
Here's the lowdown on what happened:
On Wednesday, during lunch time, Mikayla made a harmless remark to one of her close friends about having a "milk mustache". The girl had just drank milk and, just like the ads, she had one.
The next day the girl didn't show up to school. However, her dad, who works for UPS, sees John on a frequent basis when he does deliveries with "Tyson Steele" (where John works) and with a heavy heart and apprehension explained the series of events that led up to his daughter staying home from school. Apparently, this girl (who I don't even know if I've met), has a bit of "peach fuzz mustache" that other kids have teased her about. So, when Mikayla, "one of the nicest girls in the school" (as quoted by her dad), made a comment - that put the poor girl over the edge and she was so distraught, her parents allowed her to stay home the following day.
John got to deal with this one, because it all went down on Thursday and I was MIA that evening. He said Mikayla took the news stoically, didn't cry, but acknowledged how it could have been misinterpreted though it was absolutely never her intent to tease the girl about something she was so sensitive about. I was supposed to follow up with Mikayla and see how she was processing it, but between all of the festivities of the weekend, being "out of commission" all Friday, and Mikayla's total distraction with Nati and Ellie - I completely forgot. Nothing more was said to Mikayla since Thursday night.
Fast forward to this morning, and John sees the girl's father who is overjoyed. He praised our family and Mikayla. Confused as to what transpired, John asked what had happened. Apparently, the dad had dropped his daughter off before school started, and in the time he took to catch up with the teacher (probably to explain the absence), Mikayla had approached the girl and apologized. We don't know the details of what she said, but apparently, according to the dad, it was enough to make his daughter feel a whole lot better. John had previously discussed with the dad how he was going to address Ephesians 4:29 with Mikayla and because of that, and Mikayla's follow-through, our family's Christian witness took foundation to this other family.
Recognizing that it was just a couple of posts ago that I was whining about being attacked by volleyball parents getting upset at me - and seeking to justify my mistake by internally questioning their character or choices, I find myself incredibly convicted. Not once did Mikayla ever bring this situation up, but clearly, it was important enough to remember after five days and make right....even if it was no mal-intent on Mikayla's part. I have a lot to learn from my daughter.