It was when I was eight or nine. One day, I accompanied my mother on her trip to a bank in the city centre. Banks in Japan close at 3 pm, and when we went to the branch, people were already starting to prepare for the closing.
As I waited for my mother to complete her task, I felt the urge to go to a washroom.
“I need to pee,” I said to my mother.
“Can you not wait for some more time?”
There was a large mall in the city centre where we could use a public washroom. But my need was urgent.
“No, Mommy, I can’t wait!”
So my mother asked a lady staff if there was a washroom that I could use, explaining the emergency. The lady immediately replied yes, and told my mother that she could take me to the office washroom. It was almost 3 pm, and the front door was being closed.
“So, your mother will be waiting for you outside of the front door,” the lady turned to me and said in a kind voice. “Don’t worry, you will see her later.”
I didn’t understand what there was to worry about when all I was thinking about was the nearest washroom. But I nodded anyway, and she took me to the office area, walked down the staircase and led me to the staff washroom.
Once I was done, she kindly took me back to the main floor and led me out from a secret door. There in front of the front door was my mother standing and waving at us.
“There is your mother!”
The lady pointed and said to me in a cheerful voice.
Later, I thought back on the incident and realized why she kept mentioning my mother throughout the process. Because I was still a little girl, she thought I would feel anxious to be parted from my mother.
Even though the reality was that I didn’t even think to worry about not being able to find her after my visit to the washroom (I was too preoccupied with the bathroom emergency), upon carefully thinking back on the incident, I was touched by the kindness and thoughtfulness this lady showed me that day.