I was standing at the print and copy center counter at Staples last night, waiting for another chart to be scanned onto my flash drive. I noticed a young boy sitting about ten feet from me in a shopping cart. He was sitting on his jacket. Shopping carts are NOT comfortable to sit in. He was watching a video on his portable DVD player. I kept looking over at him, wondering. Was he bored? Who was he? All I knew was that I was drawn to him.
A woman was doing some copying nearby, and it became obvious that she was his mother. I asked about the DVD player and she said,"He'd be all over the store if it wasn't for that thing!" We smiled at each other , and she went back to copying, leaving me to wonder again why I was so moved by this little boy.
I sensed he was shy, so I didn't invade his space too quickly. I just watched his movie and commented on its silliness. I asked him his name. When he didn't answer I said,"That's okay. I don't think I'd tell a stranger my name either!"
His mom walked past him again and he said to her,"My name's Luke."
"That's right," she said." You're Luke."
I caught her eyes and said, "I just asked his name. He was too shy to tell me."
She giggled and rolled her eyes. It was then that I realized this was common behavior for Luke. And it wasn't shyness. His eyes were different, a bit unfocused. His attention wandered quickly from one thing to the next, returning periodically to his movie.
I really wanted to let him know how special he was. Just being around him felt good. I told his mom that and she agreed. He was special.
My scanning was done and I went to find my two boys and my husband. I introduced my boys to Luke. They waved at each other. Luke didn't have much to say. Neither did they.
I left Staples changed. I kept thinking about how Luke's life would go on, day by day. I would probably never see him again in this life. I had had 15 minutes with him. My heart was touched deeply in that short amount of time.
I got home and tried to load my new chart into my blog. It was in the wrong format so I have to have it redone. I was so upset that the trip there had been wasted. I called them and we tried to convert it on my computer. No luck. I'll have to go back today and be really clear about what I need. I asked the woman on the phone what I could say differently when I placed my order so that this mistake would stop happening. She sighed and apologized. Just keep trying, she counseled. She was stressed to have failed me, and I quickly turned it around and told her tomorrow was another day. No big deal.
I have to believe that the trip wasn't wasted. It was a meant-to-be experience. For me, for Luke and my boys, and for Luke's mom, AND for the woman scanning my chart. We all stepped into, over, and around each other's life for a moment. I felt their tiredness and acceptance of life's circumstances. We enjoyed each other and moved on.
I could have ignored Luke, and stayed comfortably in my own world. I could have been angry with the Staples clerk and added to her stress.
But I did neither. And because I made different choices at least three other people have a good place in my heart.
What in the world does this have to do with family history? I know what I think.
P.S. The chart is coming later today IF I can get back to Staples. Who knows the adventure that awaits me?