Do you tease people?
October 9, 2017

“Oh, honey. The street commissioner doesn’t want to talk to you.”

That’s what I told my three-year-old one summer afternoon. She’d come with me to the radio station where I recorded an interview for the evening’s newscast, and I was eager to let the guy have his afternoon back.

“Don’t say that!” Katie said, lips quivering. She wasn’t crying yet, but suddenly I thought I might. I’d said what I had without thinking, as if I was teasing -- as if that excused it somehow, which it didn’t.

I knew better, and I was determined to make amends. I set up a meeting with the three of us after telling the guy what had happened. He was flattered. When I gave Katie the news she asked Darrell if he liked him. “Yeah, he’s okay,” Darrell said.

A few weeks later Katie and I sat across the desk from the street commissioner. She looked at him with a twinkle in her eyes. She’d barely said hello when she announced, “My dad likes you.”