Charlie and Friend

I met a little guy called Charlie today. A four-year old with blue eyes and blonde curls – a right cutie-pie!

Waiting in the store, I made him giggle a couple of times pulling faces and he made me giggle with his insistence to pick up everything in touching distance and proudly show off his new discoveries. His mother and I ended up engaging in a discussion about asthma and his latest need for an inhaler. I managed to thin her fears by explaining how I had been like Charlie when I was younger, and as we talked she seemed to settle and smile more. Whilst talking and waiting, I could see the resemblance between the two.

Meanwhile, Charlie was still roaming, bringing forth gifts of Iron Man plasters, dinosaur plasters, throat lozenges, and last but not least (you knew it was coming) food – a NutriGrain bar to be precise. Two other little children had come in too, and their mum had just given them a NutriGrain, so, rather predictably, Charlie wanted one too. His mum said no (he had sweets in the car outside) and Charlie started going through the whole “but I want on, please please please…” he tried pretty hard! The puppy eyes got me, and I was about to kneel down and tell him how horrible they were and that he wasn’t missing anything (even though I in fact love NutriGrain bars), when the small girl, also with blonde curls and blue eyes waddled up to him and broke off a piece of her NutriGrain bar. “Here”, came the soft, adorable voice. The boy was silenced, looking in confusion from the girl’s eyes to the food in her hand, then to his mum. “What do you say?” came the smiling voice from his mother. Charlie’s expression changed as it dawned on him that she was giving him this small gift. He stepped forward shyly, clasping his hands, bowing his head, “thankyou”. Both smiled. Food passed hands.

Aww. The two mums laughed as did I, and the mother of the young girl said, “I wonder if this will last!”

Oh I would love to come back in ten years and see them together again. Things do change as we grow older, but, like the young girl, let’s give and share without so much caution, knowing that even though we might want more of something, many have nothing, and sharing it not only brings a smile upon another face, but brings joy into our own hearts as well as the hearts of those who see it happen, as I did this afternoon. And as the phrase has it, “the more you give, the more you get back.” So there’s an extra incentive! The (often) innocent, inexperienced mind of a child is such a precious thing to behold. Let us learn from their example. Let us not forget the child in us as we age, and let us follow the example of Charlie and his new friend, and share what we have with one another.

More than food passed between those small hands today.

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