After a bit of a hiatus, I promised I’d be back with the first part of my installment titled People, Places and Things. I was going to start this with perhaps one of my stories from my travels; the people I’ve met while traveling, etc. However, I met a child this week that merited being the first in this series. Everyone I meet blesses and touches my heart in some way, but this child really stood out to me. This kid really blessed me this week, and reminded me to enjoy the simple things in life (and to not take life too seriously, after all). Enjoy. – xx
June 21st, 2018: The Kid in a Coffee Shop
Let’s put it this way: I was having a really, really bad week. It was a Thursday afternoon and I was working from a coffee shop near my apartment. My car had just been hit for the second time in a month (with significant damage), and I had a mild concussion. I was feeling a bit down-and-out, to say the least.
As I typed away at one work-related project then another, I occasionally looked up from my laptop to scan the crowd of people around me. Mostly I saw people sipping coffee, reading books, talking on their cellphones: the usual. After a few moments, I noticed a young boy who had sat across the room from me. He was staring at me, as kids often do, and I thought nothing of it. Within moments, though, he had come to sit right across from me at my table-for-two. He pulled out the chair across from me, took a seat, and examined the lid of my laptop intently.
I was a little confused. I smiled at the boy, then realized that he was examining the old, nearly peeled-off stickers that had graced the lid of my laptop since my senior year of high school. I smiled, remembering that my laptop was decorated in stickers featuring The Joker, Pocahontas, and Boba Fett from Star Wars: every young kid’s dream, basically. I addressed the kid sitting across from me for the first time: “Ah, yeah, I have The Joker, see?”
“Yeah, I know,” he replied.
Pointing down, I remarked, “Well, I also have Pocahontas. See?”
He smiled, “Pocahontas? I thought it was Moana for a second.”
We both smiled.
As we continued to examine my stickers intently, the boy got up from his seat and came to stand next to me. He leaned down and put his head directly in front of my laptop screened. I chuckled, and he asked, “So, what’re ya’ doing?”
“Eh,” I started, “I’m just working”.
I continued to type. He didn’t say anything.
“I do marketing for car dealerships through this big agency,” I kept on, realizing this probably meant nothing to a barely seven-or-eight year old child. “It’s pretty boring stuff, but it’s a good job.”
The boy then nodded. “Well,” he said, “that’s just life.”
Taken aback by his response, I laughed out loud. Hearing such a wise remark come from the mouth of a little kid is always a fun surprise.
“You’re right!” I countered, still laughing a little, “that’s just life. It may be boring, but it’s a good job and I’m grateful for it.”
The boy smiled. He seemed a little embarrassed at this point, maybe because I’d laughed at his comment (even though I was laughing with him, not at him) and he walked away. He walked toward the line in which, I noticed then, his grandmother stood ordering coffee. He stayed there with her for a moment and I didn’t see him again for a few minutes.
After a few minutes passed, however, he came back to me with a treat in his hands. It was a coffee-free, vanilla frappuccino. He looked incredibly pleased with his treat, and he smiled, proudly remarking “Look what I got!”
I smiled at him. “That looks awesome!” I said, and he beamed with pride at his coffee-shop loot. Soon, his grandmother came over, grabbing him gently by the shoulders and remarking, “Oh, don’t bother her!” She then looked at me, saying “Ma’am, I’m so sorry if he interrupted your work”.
I laughed, “No, no!” I said, “he’s fine. He’s a great kid. We were talking about my stickers”.
She smiled, silently thanking me in some way for being kind to the child, I guess. “Well,” she said, “we have to go now. Say goodbye,” she told the boy. He smiled at me and said, “Well, bye.”
I smiled back at him and said, “Hey, have a good summer, bud.” He nodded, and off they went.
As they left the coffee shop, I couldn’t stop smiling and turning these little, simple moments over in my mind. For a child to be so friendly, so open, and so wise with his words made me feel incredibly warm. This kid, just by his simple gestures of kindness and interest in others, made me feel better about the terrible-no-good-very-bad week I’d been having thus far.
As I left the coffee shop later that afternoon, I couldn’t stop thinking about the child. I called my mom and told her the story: it was the cutest thing that had happened to me in a long time. I could hear my mom smiling through the phone: “Aw,” she said, “that must’ve made your day”. It did. It really did.
A child is such a wonderful, innocent, and yet somehow incredibly wise fixture in this life. I felt blessed and encouraged that this child had shown such kindness to me, a stranger. I can’t explain it other than that, but it made me feel better about the whole of humanity. In a way, the encounter gave me hope.
In other words: it’s the little things, friends.
End – xx.