Blessings from the Littles

She reached out to touch my hand, her pudgy toddler fingers soft and warm. Dark brown Hispanic eyes twinkled with joy as we played peek-a-boo around her mother’s shoulder.

blue heart within white clouds, representing love

I would have given her mother $20 to let me hold this precious daughter. But then maybe the spell of our game would have ended.

We waited in line at Arby’s, still teasing each other for at least ten minutes. The baby grinned at me. Two tiny bottom teeth stood like white sentinels in her perky mouth.

Then customer service took over. The child and her mother moved away from me, picked up their take-out order and left.

I felt suddenly bereft of this tiny stranger. This connection of a moment.

Unlike most of my friends, I do not have grandchildren — yet. Two grand dogs are often shown on Facebook pages. I rarely get to see the great nieces and nephews of our family line. And some are so young, they do not remember me.

So when I am in contact with a little one, it is a rare and special gift. I find myself mirroring my mother in her later years as she often smiled at children. Reached out to touch a baby in the store. Or picked up a doll in the toy department.

Perhaps all women find some joy in the remembrance of little ones.

In this child, I saw the future in a tiny life, as yet untouched by the cares of her world. That little girl has no idea about the stresses she may someday encounter. The need to pay the gas bill. To keep a roof over her head. To fight for her voice to be heard.

She is years away from deciding on a career. Thankfully, her choices will be much more varied than those of my demographic. She will have the freedom to go anywhere and be who God created her to be. Partially because the generations before her fought for that freedom.

Her youth holds so much potential. Her future so much promise. Her beauty — who could resist those brown eyes and black hair surrounding clear baby skin? Her grin free from any emotional baggage.

Although she had already left, I whispered a prayer. Begged God to protect her. To keep her strong. To allow her many blessings.

With so much promise ahead of her and so much joy offered to a stranger, no wonder God tells us to become like the little ones. No wonder Jesus said, “Let the little ones come to me.” Perhaps the little ones of his culture also gave him hope.

When we are accepted by a little child, it reminds us of our own childhood. Of innocence gained or lost. Of potential taken or retrieved. Of promise and blessing and joy in the unknowns.

Perhaps the little ones still teach us that accepting one another just because we are human is a grand gesture. Without an official introduction or even the sharing of names, we can smile at each other. Dare to reach out with a friendly hand. Spend time studying each other without judgment.

Maybe we can begin to look at each other and see what God sees. The childlike innocence we once possessed. The potential to hope. The possibility of reaching out to offer a tiny sliver of unconditional love.

©2024 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved

Mother’s Day is coming soon. Consider giving a book such as: Day by Day: Hope for Senior Wisdom

Image: oo11o / Pixabay

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