Auntieeeeeee! she screeches.
Hi!, I say
Auntie! she says, catching her breath. Why do little kids always run with their heavy school bags?
Mmmm.! I answer in a sing song tune.
See my magic eraser (she holds up a triangle shaped yellow eraser with a smiley.)
Wow! Why is it magic?, I ask, curious.
See, Auntie, it has a face. It smiles, she says, proudly.
You’re right! So cute!, I say, amused.
Auntie! Do you want to smell it?, she asks.
Ummmm….I say, and before I have a chance to make a choice, she reaches up and sticks it right under my nose. Involuntarily, my nose twitches in response to that mixture of school smells on the eraser.
Nice, no? she asks.
I ate chips. See (she shows crumbs from pocket)
I laugh. “What about me”, I ask
Take auntie! (gives me the crumbs from pocket even as they fall off her spread fingers)
Thank you! I say, pretending to take from her hand and munching.
Welcome auntie. she says.
Auntie! she yells.
Yes? I ask
See my bag, she says
Very nice. What color is it? I ask .
Red!, she says.
Very pretty. Didn’t you carry your lunch bag today?, I ask
No auntie, she says, sad-faced.
Why dear? I ask
Because my lunch box is inside my bag, she says, with a peal of laughter.
Ah, fooled me there!
I grin. Then she says, I drank water.
Good girl! I say.
I am going home, auntie, she says.
Bye, bye. See you tomorrow, I say.
This second grader is someone I see often. Wherever she sees me, she recognizes me, just because I helped her tie a friendship band on her wrist one day.
The next day, she ran into me, literally and laughed. She held up two lunch bags, and said she had forgotten her bag the previous day in school and was taking it back home today. So she had four bags. How? I ask. Because I can only count three – her school backpack plus two lunch bags. But she counts four – her two lunch bags plus the left shoulder and right shoulder, where her backpack straps rest. So hilarious.
The third day, she just came and hugged me and held up a string, asking me to tie it on her wrist. I did. And she walked away happily.
The fourth day, she walked down the path and just stopped where I stood, and smiled up at me. “Are you reading a story book?” she asked, and I said yes. “Is it nice?” she asked. Yes, I answered. “Will you tell me the story when you finish reading”, she asked. “Sure,” I said.
And now, on days when I don’t see her, I get all worked up. This little girl is only one of the little friends I’ve made who brighten up my day.
There’s a little 5-year old boy I meet at the bus stop when I go out at a particular time – it is when he goes back from school. If there’s waiting involved for the bus to arrive, this boy delights in running a few steps ahead and then running right back and bumping into me. I realized I had once pretended to catch him as he ran back, as his Mom watched, amused. So it is a game we play, now. He’ll come running and avoiding me, run right past into his Mom’s arms.
I love how children make friends, just like that. Age , status, looks – none of these matter. All that matters is love and affection, a cheerful smile to make those little human flowers bloom, shed their inhibitions and make your day and make life look like a garden. No fear, no anxiety. They never beat themselves up over petty stuff.
Here are some other things that brightened my day.
I walked to the bus stop to see this dog basking in the sun. Happy fellow. Click the pic to see a slideshow. Then click anywhere on your screen to return to this post.
Tell me, How do you spell love?
What makes you smile?