Our eyes met at the stop light. Her beautiful brown face and pink bow that was bigger than her. She struck me with her happiness. It made me take an inventory of my own.
Mom looked exhausted as she stared at the light waiting for it to change. The little brown faced girl, not so much. This could be a long day for mom. A fun day possibly but nevertheless, a long one. The little girl’s eyes gleamed with anticipation and she was so spry. I could tell. She had a lot to say. Her eyes said it.
As I looked at her I wondered what her life would be like as a teenager, I wondered what she would become as an adult. What gifts did she have that the world was waiting for?
She seemed to warm up to me in that moment at the stop light, her smile grew wider, as we were being made friends, no words were spoken, only a moment in time. A moment to acknowledge that she mattered to me and I mattered to her. So what if we were in rush hour traffic. We bonded. I wanted to know what she was thinking. What her excitement about the day was.
Our moment was broken when the light changed and her mom chose the interstate. I know, the nerve, I was a little offended but I let it go. The little girl stretched her neck and pressed her little nose and wide smile into the window. And with that huge smile she waved. She waved like her best friend was leaving. And my heart leaped. I knew her for a brief moment.
No,I didn’t know facts about her or her family, didn’t know her favorite color but it was the innocence of her face. The purity of a child that can put life into perspective. The purity that smiles at another mom, as if to say.” I like you, do you wanna be friends?”
This little girl with the pink bow doesn’t know judgement, she doesn’t know politics, she doesn’t know to discriminate or stereotype. She knows puppies and parks and ice-cream and Dora the Explorer. She knows friends and wants to make new ones. She wants to run and run and run.
She eats broccoli because you make her but she doesn’t have to like it.
I wish I could freeze time for her and broccoli was all she had to worry about. That she would never have to worry about injustice, or mean people or things she sees or reads on the internet.
I wish she could trust everyone. I wish she could just play outside and never have a care in the world.
I wish she never had to see that in the name of religion people do vicious and vile things.
I wish that she would never get heartbroken and become jaded. I wish that her heart would always stay open and soft, that she wouldn’t get bitter.
I wish for her that she wouldn’t quit when things are tough but she would persevere.
I wish that the same little girl with the pink bow would do great things in her life, have a great family and be well loved and when she is at the stoplight one day she will make friends with a little girl with a pink bow.