I can’t remember if I mentioned her before, but there is a little girl I’ve seen on the train a few times. She and her mom (who has her hands full managing a stroller) board the train somewhere after I do and the last time I saw them, the little girl sat beside me and said she liked my earrings.
This morning I was sitting on the train reading my book and I saw them get on the train out of the corner of my eye. The little girl looked at me and broke into a big smile, headed directly to me and sat down proclaiming, “I haven’t seen you in awhile.”
We chatted a minute while she got herself situated, then she looked at me and said, “I just had a birthday last week. January 31st!” I smiled; that was my mom’s birthday but I didn’t get a chance to say that because she kept right on talking, “guess how old I am!”
I squinched up my eyes and pretended to scrutinize her little round face, then proclaimed her to look “exactly like 5!” Her grin widened and she looked both surprised and very pleased that I guessed correctly. I complimented her outfit (very green, from her frog rain boots and matching jacket to the cozy grass-green sweater dress) and when I told her my favorite color was green, she sighed and said hers was actually pink and purple, which was why her headband was pink. See?
She said she liked my earrings, I said I liked her backpack, especially the little bluebird embroidered on it. She asked about the nook I was reading and I explained how it works, then asked if she liked to read. She does, sometimes but not always and more if there is pictures in it. She described her current favorite book – something with swallows and Amazons (but she isn’t sure what those are) and Queen Elizabeth is in there too. I didn’t tell her about my book (a government conspiracy theory with lots of killing) and instead asked if she was on her way to school. Oh yes, but today is math day. She doesn’t like math. And they were running late and you can’t be late for school but that’s why her mom forgot her water bottle and man oh man, she was thirsty. I assured her that there would be water at her school.
She snuggled in closer to my side as if she actually knew me, and my heart melted. Her mom was just eight feet away and I made sure to keep my own behavior appropriate, but what I really wanted to do was scoop up this little ray of sunshine and give her a big ol’ hug. She is such a cheerful, well-spoken, polite little thing and she totally made my day. We continued to chitchat until the last stop, which was hers (and mine!); I wished her a good day at school and nodded to her mom as I headed to the stairs. Such a little ray of sunshine, I smiled all the way to the office. I wish every day could start like that.