Shortly before Christmas, I had to make a rare trip to the mall to pick something up.
After being delighted when Santa caught Maxwell's eye from the level below us and waved to him for a solid minute while Maxwell excitedly waved back,
we continued on our way and passed the children's play area.
We had a little extra time, so I told the boys they could play and they excitedly ran in, where one other girl, probably 2 or 3 years old, was already playing.
As soon as we walked in, she joyfully ran up to Benson with a small purple teddy bear and handed it to him.
His face lit up and he instantly wrapped his arms around the teddy bear, engulfing it in a tight hug.
The smile stayed on his face as he climbed into toy cars and played on slides with the teddy bear tucked firmly beneath his arm.
The sweet exchange between the two toddlers gave me pause.
I was obviously touched by the young girl's generosity and kindness,
but I was also struck by Benson's joyful response.
One thing I have been working on over the past few years is receiving gratefully rather than apologetically.
Like most people, I hate to think that someone was inconvenienced because of me.
So, until recently, when someone would render service to me, I would apologize or insist that they didn't have to do it.
I finally realized that I much prefer giving service to someone who says something like,
"Thank you SO much!! This is so helpful. You really saved me!"
and that showing gratitude was a far better response than being apologetic or embarrassed.
Benson's pre-Christmas exchange with the little girl was a timely reminder to me to be gracious and grateful instead of guilty when kindness is shown to me.
That smile is priceless!