We brought our traveling road show of two tired parents and two cranky little girls to a halt just outside of Birmingham Thursday to eat dinner and stretch our legs. Caitlin whined incessantly about playing, but refused to eat. She finally reluctantly nibbled a few chicken nuggets because we were not going to let her step foot into the play zone, by God, without her eating a thing for dinner. She plucked off her sandals and ventured into the plastic, winding monstrosity primary colored play area. Two “mean girls” were holed up in a big plastic car and wouldn’t let Caitlin in. They looked to be about 6 years old or so. Then they told her she had to say “poop” before she could come in to their special hideout. I’m not sure what else they said to her, but Caitlin burst into tears and came running to me and the hubby while we were taking turns pulling Amelia off the playset as she repeatedly ran toward it with such willfulness I’m amazed she didn’t hurt herself. In the meantime, the little girls’ moms were chatting away in the nearby dining area oblivious to the fact that their girls had made our girl cry. They also kept giving me “the look” of snooty mom disdain. Of course when I went into the restroom with Amelia after we finished eating and looked in the mirror I realized that I was one missed shower away from looking like a homeless person but COME ON people we’d been traveling all day. Any way, enough about me…this is a little story of how Caitlin’s knight in shining armor turned what could have been an unpleasant evening into a bright spot.
A little 9-year-old boy, very well spoken and quite the charmer, then befriended Caitlin as she wiped her tears. He asked her if she wanted to play with him seeing as these two mean girls in their pale pink leotards had shunned my sweet girl. Caitlin and her Prince Charming romped and played and her tears dried. As we were leaving the little boy even offered his handful of change from his ice cream to Caitlin. She declined but then invited him to go to her Papa’s beach some time.
He might not have been an actual knight in shining armor, but for a few minutes this little boy befriended Caitlin and made her forget about the mean girls that made her cry. Chivalry is not dead. It’s just sometimes found in the least likely of places.