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It was such a beautiful sight... that big, tall man towering over the little boy

Contributed By:Dorothy Nevils

Dear Father...

I was halfway down the aisle when I heard the sound. It was a gurgly sound, a sort of rushed sound, as if the one responsible for it was anxious to get it out, and the sounds stumbled and bumped each other in their haste. I was a bit curious, so I halted my hand’s movement toward the box of raisins. Raisins could wait.

Turning, I saw a shopping cart being pushed by a man twice as large as I, and seemingly just as tall. A few feet in front of him was a woman, laying her hands on a box of cereal a foot higher than another little boy, about an inch taller than the cart.

These were not who’d caught my eye. My progress had been arrested by a little boy perched up in the seat, twisted just enough to keep up with what all the three others were doing, one leg bent and free of the extra slot cart makers mistakenly believe those whose feet have experienced the thrill of shoe sole on solid floor would prefer. No way! One hole? Maybe. Two? Nah. Too restrictive.

It was such a beautiful sight, I just plain stopped. The “grandma-teacher” in me pulled me toward the family… that big, tall man towering over the little boy, babbling, twisting, and being… just what all like him should have the freedom to be – a boy!

“Does he talk like that all the time?” I asked the man, who towered like a healthy cedar over the little guy with bright eyes and not yet enough words.

“Yes.” His voice was warm. “All the time.”

My lips wiggled, then broke, again, into a wide smile. “That is great. Don’t ever stop.”

I continued shopping, my heart warmed by this encounter. I thought about other little boys in other places, babies sitting in the “jump seat” of a shopping cart, eyes on a man towering over him, one that looks remarkably like him, and the corners of my mouth curled.

Oh, that all little brown boys felt that free, that secure. Oh, if they looked up, focusing their eyes on the dark chocolate face in front of theirs, and felt secure to babble and point and question… How would their lives be different?

What would it mean to know without question that the strong hands guiding them down the veggie aisle, up past dairy, and finally out the door, would be the ones to guide their laces through the holes every morning, and tuck them into bed each night?

I saw them one last time, the boy in the cart, his eyes following all the hands that sorted the week’s groceries, twisting from one side to the other as his family filled the basket and prepared to ride home. My soul was quieted and I smiled, knowing that one little brown boy would be okay… because he knew his father… and he knew that his father would gather him up, boost him against his warm chest… and he’d sleep comfortably, knowing that he was loved.

Story Posted:06/17/2017

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