I love to observe people – most certainly children – when I am out and about – shopping, restaurants, waiting rooms.
It is a most enjoyable pastime – a learning, emotionally rich experience – because a glimpse into a stranger’s life can invoke understanding, joy, empathy, respect, happiness, hope.
So, while having breakfast out with my husband, we sat next to a large table of eight senior women – along with a younger woman and one boy of about ten or eleven years old.
It was a birthday breakfast outing I know, as eventually the birthday cake with candles lit appeared. There was much chattering and laughing exchanged among the group. But my real focus was this young boy – alone in this sea of matriarchs – and the joyful and attentive manner in which he participated.
There was no scowling or sighing, no electronic device for entertainment – just a pleasant face on a young boy – honoring what I assume may have been his grandmother and her friends/relatives gathered to celebrate her birthday.
I found his manner so refreshing, so unusual actually – so lacking in dramatic sighing, or “look at me”,”I’m so bored” – “I want to go” attention-getting behavior.
This young boy was reflective – watching, listening, smiling, participating, respecting the occasion.
I had to say something to the woman I assumed was his mom. So on my way out, I stopped and asked her if he was her son. She smiled and said “yes”.
I didn’t have to tell her how special this boy was. She already knew as she shook her head in agreement and thanked me sincerely for noticing.
Noticing – and telling people you noticed – brightens everyone’s day.
Just as I’m certain this young boy brightened every one of those senior women’s day, celebrating along with them – this joyful moment of significance.