After Supper we stopped into Barnes & Noble. She wanted some special note/appointment book. I browsed for a magazine. Intrigued by the current Atlantic I took it over to Raj at the checkout.
Ahead of me were an older woman and man, a teen age girl and boy. He was a big guy, taller than me, and he clutched two large lego kits. We’ve had many many legos in our house but when the boys were that big, the legos didn’t get much attention.
As I joined the line the young man clutching the Legos turned to me and said, “It’s my birthday. I’m 15.” Immediately it all came together.
“Congratulations,” I said, “I just had birthday and I’m 70.”
“That’s a lot.” He said.
By now he needed to make the transaction, “Tell the man you want to buy these Legos.” The woman told him.
He thrust out a fistful of money and said, “I want to buy these Legos.”
Then she turned to the girl and told her, “Tell the man you want to buy the book.”
The girl held out the book and some money saying, “I want to buy this book.”
The woman turned to me and said, “It’s their learning experience.”
Having my Atlantic I went out to sit down in the car near the front door. The four of them were waiting before heading into the lot, then they were off.
I sat briefly then had an impulse. I went into the lot hoping to reach them. I wanted to speak again with the birthday boy, congratulate him again, offer him a $20 and suggest he go back to the store and treat his family to cookies. Soft chocolate chip would be a good choice.
I was honored that he spoke to me and I hoped his celebration could be extended. But they were gone. And just as gone was that impulse, lost.
I suppose it’s just as well. Some people don’t need more complication or intrusion in their life. People with the task of caring for others this way have their hands full. And people with limits aren’t always quick to understand odd changes in social situations; rightly suspicious of strangers.
It is enough that this young man, this time, at this moment, was happy. And he shared his happiness with me. Have fun with those Legos.