A Small, Lovely Gesture

Yesterday I went for a walk around Fresh Pond in Cambridge. It was a pretty chilly day, but I felt the need to take advantage of the sun, go out and pump fresh oxygen in the lungs. There were other walkers, joggers and runners out and about, and surprisingly many families with toddlers. And of course dogs, lots of dogs, some of them cute, some not. The dogs for unknown reasons are drawn to me. I’m not the one to pet or talk to them, but they always seem to be wanting to be around me. Most of the time this is fine.

I was walking on the path right by the water, the one that’s below the two lookout spots with the benches. A family was walking on the other direction. A couple of adults, a baby in a stroller and a toddler walking along. I noticed that the baby in the stroller had his eyes fixed on me. I think he was a one-year old. As for the gender I can’t be quite sure, but I will rely on the socially accepted norm that little boys wear blue clothes. Anyway, he kept watching me coming closer and closer. Then, when I got about three feet away from him, and without taking his eyes off me, he flashed a gigantic smile. A smile I would think is reserved for people he knows and recognizes. A smile we adults reserve for friends we haven’t seen in a while. His smile lingered as I was approaching to pass him. I smiled back, and waved hi. He waved back at me and when I passed him he kept watching me and kept that great smile, turning back in his stroller to follow me on. It was the cutest thing in a long time. Little friend, thanks for making my day brighter. I still think of your smile and I smile, too.

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