Day Brightener

_DSC5253-3Today I had an appointment, and I knew that Lucy would fall asleep on the way home, so I stopped for lunch at KFC.  There were mainly African-Americans there, on their lunch break from work (I know this because Lucy asked them).  As usual, she was talking.  A lot.  To me.  To people in line.

“Why do you have paint on your clothes?”

“Why you eating that?”

“Is that your coat?”

“Can we sit here?”

While I ordered our food, she amused the customers, introducing herself to several people and asking their names.  And how old they are.  They all wanted to talk to her.  They all engaged her and asked her questions.

We sat down to wait for our number to be called and Lucy stood up in the booth and turned around to have a conversation with the woman behind us.  The woman didn’t seem too excited to chat.  Still, Lucy insisted on knowing more about her crocheted hat and why it had a flower on it.  I kept trying to interest Lucy in things at our table and to have her sit back down and leave the nice woman alone.  But she wouldn’t have it.  She just kept pestering her with questions.  She wanted to know where her coat was.  She wanted to know where she lived.  She asked about her food.  Lucy didn’t ask how old she was, but I’d guess she was about 70.  Finally, our food came and that was enough to get Lucy to sit back down and focus on our table instead of our nice neighbor.  After a few minutes, the woman got up to leave.  She threw away her trash and then walked back over to our table.

“Lucy, I want to thank you.  I was having a pretty bad day when I came in here.  I was feeling kind of depressed and down in the dumps.  But then I met you and now I feel a lot better.  You changed my day.  You be a good girl for your mama, okay?”  Lucy blew her a kiss, flashed her gorgeous smile and she was off.  

And I couldn’t even respond because of the big lump in my throat.

This kid has such a gift.

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7 responses

  1. I hope you don’t mind my saying this, but your daughter has this gift because she herself has lost so very much already in her young life. That loss and suffering has lead to compassion, caring, and a way of seeing other people that others do not possess. I have a daughter adopted from China, and she possesses this same gift. It’s suffering that’s been turned into joy that she wants to give to other people…I lost my family on the day I was born, and I have the same gift. I am just now seeing it for what it is at 48 years old…

  2. Lucy would brighten my day, too! Kiya is very much like this. I’ve often wondered if it was bound to be her natural disposition or if there was more to it. I do think she learned to be content and happy while in group care because that’s what she needed to do. But I also think it’s always been there. And it’s my job to help it stay there!

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