I was strolling the aisles of my local Wal-Mart yesterday, checking out all of the Halloween costumes and just fumbling about, people watching (the things my eyes have seen). From the lady wearing the half shirt without a bra that she was in desperate need of, to the man with tears in his eyes clearly in pain standing at the pharmacy counter. The young mother with one kiddo on her hip and one in the cart looking for the best bargain. You see so many people from different places in life rushing through with agendas all their own.
While turning the corner at the hair products I saw a young girl, looking around sheepishly as if she were trying to go unnoticed. Hmm, I thought; what is she up to, clearly holding change in her hand and counting it out several times to make sure of the exact amount. I see what she is looking at: the many pads and tampons. I mean there's a whole wall of your choosing: ultras thin to maxi, with wings, without, scented unscented -- GEEZ -- that could be very scary for a first timer.
I walked over near her and said hello, tears welling up in her eyes she said “Hi.” She was probably about 12-years-old, a cute little girl but visibly nervous as if she were facing the worst situation of her life. I asked her if she was okay she just nodded her head and looked around suspiciously once again. “Are you here alone?” I was probably totally freaking her out at this point. “No my neighbor is in the car outside.” I looked at her and realized she was taking this journey alone, her first purchase of womanhood. Having three girls I remember the embarrassment they carried when I would just toss some pads in my cart, this poor girl was facing this decision and purchase solo.
“You know, I have three daughters and they really like this brand, have you tried these ones?” I said. She turned to me with a sense of relief and said, “NO this is my first time. My mom is at work, so she had the neighbor bring me. And I really cant afford those; I only have $2.80.” “Oh I see,” I told her, “Well I’m about to check out and I just thought maybe I could help you out and get these for you, would that be okay?” She let out a huge sigh and said, “Why would you do that for me? I don’t even know you.” “Oh sweetie you don’t have to know me for me to help you out, you're someone’s daughter and no girl should face this alone.”
She walked with me up to the check stand with a little more pep in her step, the tears had dried and a little confidence restored. I purchased her pads, handed her the bag and told her, “Congratulations!” She smiled and said, “Thank you," as she turned to walk away.
I never asked her name or gave her mine, but I hope that little girl can now have a positive memory of the day she became a woman. We all should.
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