I was 13 when I understood that sometimes, generosity costs a little more than, “thank you.” I’ve replayed that day in my head about a several times and wished I was not so imprudent.
I wished I acted differently that day. I wished then, and I wish now, that I could either change or imagine away what I did that day.
My father frequently took me on short outings on Saturdays. Sometimes we went to a garden, or to the lake for a boat ride. My personal favorite was going to the theme park, where I can do some adventurous stuff. Being a big food junkie, we would always buy something(particularly, ice cream) before wrapping up the day’s event.
On our way back home from these usual trips, Dad frequently stopped at the Ice-cream parlor for the chocolate cone. Every time he would stopped the car at the ‘critical corner’ I would silently pray that the shop isn’t closed. That corner meant either mouth-watering excitement or utmost disappointment.
A few times while returning he would ask spontaneously, “Who you like an ice-cream cone?” and I would say, “I most certainly would.” I’d always have chocolate and he’d have vanilla. He would hand me 100 bucks and I would run to buy the usual. We’d eat them in the car and it would the best part of the day.
On one fateful day, we were returning back from a zoo, and I was hoping for the beautiful sound of his offer. It came, “Who would like an ice cream cone?” But then something unusual happened, he said, “How about your treat today?”
Hundred bucks! Hundred bucks!
I’ve been saving this amount in my piggy bank for over a month now, and I suddenly it occurred that ice cream wasn’t good use for it.
Why didn’t it occur to me that this was a golden opportunity to give something back to my generous dad who has always put my wishes before his needs? Why didn’t I think that he had bought me 100 ice cream cones, while I hadn’t bought him once? Alas! All I could think of at that time was, ”100 bucks!”
In a fit of selfish, miserly ingratitude tone, I awfully answered, “Well, in that case, I think I’ll just pass.” My father said, “Okay, no worries.”
But as we turned home, I realized how wrong I was and begged him to turn back. “I”ll pay, I pleaded.” But he just said, “That’s okay, we really don’t need one.”
I never felt so ashamed of myself before. And the worst part of it all? He didn’t even act disappointed on my response. But I don’t think he could have done anything to make a deeper impression of his daughter.
That day, I learned that generosity sometimes costs a little more than ”thank you.” That day it would cost me 100 bucks, and it would have been the best ice-cream I would have ever had.
Also published on Medium.