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I'd just pulled into the closest parking spot I could manage on a Wal-Mart Saturday. Making sure windows were up, doors were locked, double-checking to make certain that I wasn't about to lock - or hadn't already locked myself out by leaving car keys on the front seat when I heard it.

A small voice. Sweet. Innocent. Directed at me? I turned to look over my shoulder, and there was the source of that voice. A little boy, maybe two, two and a half years old - leaning out the window of an old station wagon, waving as he yelled. Several children in the vehicle. Mom, no doubt, inside the store, fighting the Wal-Mart crowds, trying to shop.

Again - "Bye-bye, I love you!" And it was sincere, I decided. Sincere, not a joke. The others were focused on other things. This one, small child - looking at me, smiling, waving . . .

I was amused . . . and touched.

I smiled, waved back, nodding as I said, "Love you, too."

We both smiled as I turned away, heading into the store.

I'm thinking I smiled longer than he did....

Note to myself: That was "a moment." Precious. Never to be repeated. This one goes in the KEEPERS file.

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Comment by Tom Taylor on April 25, 2008 at 3:24pm
Dear "Spontaneous" -

Thank you for taking the time to read about that moment.

Thanks for making the effort to send a word of counsel and encouragement.

And please notify the 'bumper' committee (Teddy/Dolly/Benny, etc.) that you're at it again with your second sentence.

My commission remains a modest 15%.

Faithfully,

Tom T (BUT....IF you're gonna be that verbose, y'might start thinkin' Calendars.....)
Comment by Rivka Willick on April 25, 2008 at 2:47pm
Tom,

I think that little boy knew you were just one big ole teddy bear, and he hugged you with his words.

Looking into a stranger's eyes and smiling can take courage, receiving a smile back can pump up our courage, and our hearts, so we can do it again and again.

Rivka
Comment by Tom Taylor on March 26, 2008 at 8:56pm
Susan,

You just made my day, Kiddo. Thanks...

I agree w/ the saying, and I applaud you for making it your goal to live by its wisdom.

Your last line is one of the kindest/sweetest/most moving/most profound ever directed my way...
mind if I hang on to it?

Gratefully,

Tom
Comment by Susan K. Coti on March 26, 2008 at 8:35pm
I've come across moments like these now and again. They are precious, and you're right: we CAN. And you know what? We do more and more, I find, as the world becomes more accessible. There's an old Cuban saying: "Life is short, and a smile takes barely a second." I live by this adage and find it goes far in this weary world. I love your stories and can see you're a force in this world!
Comment by Tom Taylor on March 11, 2008 at 5:20pm
Thanks, Ryan - it was one of those 'special' instances
that touched/moved/brightened me, totally unsuspecting, absolutely spontaneous...

Glad you caught it. And, yes, I DO wish we could - the sad thing is we CAN, but don't.
Comment by J Ryan Rosser on March 11, 2008 at 11:19am
Tom, that's a great story. Don't you wish we could all give out such unconditional love and gratitude?

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