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Main : Books : Chicken Soup Series

Missed Opportunities
  by: Nick Lazaris, A Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul

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I had offered to watch my 3-year-old daughter, Ramanda, so that my wife could go out with a friend. I was getting some work done while Ramanda appeared to be having a good time in the other room. No problem, I figured. But then it got a little too quiet and I yelled out, "What are you doing, Ramanda?" No response. I repeated my question and heard her say, "Oh...nothing." Nothing? What does "nothing" mean?

I got up from my desk and ran out into the living room, whereupon I saw her take off down the hall. I chased her up the stairs and watched her as her little behind made a hard left into the bedroom. I was gaining on her! She took off for the bathroom. Bad move. I had her cornered. I told her to turn around. She refused. I pulled out my big, mean, authoritative Daddy voice, "Young lady, I said turn around!"

Slowly, she turned toward me. In her hand was what was left of my wife's new lipstick. And every square inch of her face was covered with bright red (except her lips of course)!

As she looked up at me with fearful eyes, lips trembling, I heard every voice that had been shouted to me as a child. "How could you...You should know better than that...How many times have you been told...What a bad thing to do..." It was just a matter of my picking out which old message I was going to use on her so that she would know what a bad girl she had been. But before I could let loose, I looked down at the sweatshirt my wife had put on her only an hour before. In big letters it said, "I'M A PERFECT LITTLE ANGEL!" I looked back up into her tearful eyes and instead of seeing a bad girl who didn't listen, I saw a child of God...a perfect little angel full of worth, value and a wonderful spontaneity that I had come dangerously close to shaming out of her.

"Sweetheart, you look beautiful! Let's take a picture so Mommy can see how special you look." I took the picture and thanked God that I didn't miss the opportunity to reaffirm what a perfect little angel He had given me.

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