Say hi to a stranger..!
We got talking and she even came part of the way with me, “How come you talk to strangers?” I asked, “Aren’t you afraid?” “You’re no more a stranger now,” she laughed, “not after we’ve become friends!” Simple words I’m sure that could solve half the world’s problems! Said a father: “When my son Rob was eleven years old he came home from school in tears one day. A couple of the older kids had beat him up at the bus stop. We called the school and found great support. “We’ll be happy to call the boys’ parents,” we were told. “And you should call the police.” The next day was Saturday. Rob happened to look out the window and said in alarm, “There are the boys who beat me up!” Two older boys were standing in front of our house, as if they were waiting for Rob to step outside.
I immediately began to think of what I wanted to say to them, but my wife, acted first. She opened the door and said with a smile, “Hi guys. Would you like some ice cream?”
They looked at each other in puzzlement. But they were teenagers, after all, so they shrugged their shoulders and one of them said, “Sure. Why not?” They followed her indoors. Her idea was to help them see that Rob was a person, not a target. He had a family; he lived in a neighborhood and even owned a friendly dog. My wife drew the boys into conversation while we ate ice cream. After a few minutes, she said, “I know there’s been some trouble at the bus stop. I think there may be a misunderstanding. “ They nodded sheepishly and admitted there had indeed been trouble at the bus stop, then apologized and said there would be no more trouble. And there wasn’t.
The vice-principal of the school called back the following week and asked about the fighting. “Did you call the police?” he asked. “No, but we’ve taken care of it,” my wife said. “What did you do?” he asked. “We fed them ice cream…!” she said into the phone.
I love this story and like to think that the young mother who fed her son’s enemies that day was the kind of lady Patricia will grow up to be, because her ‘hi’ to me that day in Portugal was a scoop of ice cream..!