“I didn’t know I was lonely ’til I saw your face.”
Bleachers, I Wanna Get Better
“Instead of riding the bus today, could we go to breakfast and then could you drop me off at school?” my almost thirteen-year-old daughter unexpectedly asked me on a recent Friday morning.
My Type-A, plan-happy brain initially resisted this spontaneous invitation. While my brain began to list the reasons I couldn’t, my eyes saw something else. Standing in front of me was a not-so-little girl in stylish tribal print pants that were just a little long for her small physique. They wouldn’t be too long forever, I knew. She would grow into them; it wouldn’t be long.
“Okay,” I said, suddenly grateful to have an hour alone with this beautiful, growing girl.
After having a nice visit over chicken biscuits, we ran into a nearby store for a piece of poster board. As we stood in the checkout line, a woman pulled her cart up behind us. Standing in the back was a little girl who appeared to be three or four years old.
“Mama, can I get out?” the little girl asked.
“Mama, can I get out?” she repeated—this time a little louder.
Still no response.
“Mama, please can I get out?” the child politely asked as the woman used her pointer finger to scroll down the screen of her phone, happily smiling to herself.
As the little girl continued to ask the same question, her left leg inched higher and higher over the grocery cart until it appeared she was going to get out herself. My daughter, sensing the little girl was about to fall, quickly stepped next to the cart, preparing to catch her.
The little girl looked at my daughter and put her leg back in the cart. She began asking the same question once again, in hopes her mother might respond to her pleas.
We hadn’t even made it to the car when I saw tears forming in my daughter’s eyes. As she shut the door, she quietly said, “That made me really sad.”