Thursday, May 15, 2014

And Then There Were Eight

I have a personal rule:   make at least one person smile each and every day.  It can be your spouse, your child or a complete stranger.  You just have to look around and open your heart.  Chances are you’ll find an opportunity to brighten someone’s day in the smallest of ways.  And it can happen in the most unexpected places—even the Costco Food Court. 

After a day of babysitting our three-year-old granddaughter, my husband and I decided at the last minute to head to Costco for gas.  But we didn’t go to our neighborhood store.  The gas app on our IPad told us that the best fuel price could be found at a different Costco so we headed there.  Neither of us felt like cooking so after filling up came another last minute decision—eat a quick dinner at the food court. 
As we sat there sharing an ice cream, a couple of kids sat next to us.  Then came two more and another two and another two until there were eight.  Bringing up the rear and a pizza was a young gentleman that the kids enthusiastically called ‘daddy’.  As he passed out their dinner, it was evident that many of these youngsters were challenged in one way or another—especially the toddler who was sitting quietly in the cart.  Then we heard one little girl’s blessing:  “Thank you, God, for my family.  Thank you, God, for this food; and thank you, God, for the adoption."

My husband and I exchanged looks.  We were on the same page.  After almost 40 years of marriage, we don’t always have to talk.  He got up and quietly asked ‘daddy’ if he could buy the kids some ice cream.  The man was very touched and said it would be fine.  When ‘daddy’ told the children that ‘this kind gentleman’ wanted to treat them to ice cream, they were ecstatic.  As my husband went up to the food window, the man smiled.  He explained that they had been out all day running errands starting with the baby’s physical therapy appointment early that morning.  They were in the process of adopting him.  “This is my life,” he grinned. “But I know I am blessed and I love it.”
Buying eight ice creams seemed like a trivial thing compared to the selfless choices made by this good man.  God only knows what those children may have witnessed or lived through until he gave them a loving home.  Two things I know for sure:  eight little people enjoyed their dessert that night and we went home happy to have shared a moment with such a beautiful family.  As for me, I exceeded my daily smile-making quota by eight!