The rounds of Christmas holiday parties left me satiated with food, and by nightfall all I really needed was a coffee fix. My usual hangouts were closed, so I threw on my comfortable sweatshirt and sauntered down to the local Mc Donald’s. The place was pretty empty, just a family with several adult children gathered around a large table and myself.
Through the door came a young boy of maybe seven years old with his parents. He had bright blue eyes and hair so blonde it was nearly white. He was wearing a navy blue dress suit- probably his first, with brown sneakers. He walked up to the counter and ordered a Happy Meal while his parents watched. While waiting for his order, his Mom disappeared into to the ladies’ room and his Dad took him aside and told him, “I just want you to know that you were really good today and I’m very proud of you.” The little boy broke into a wide smile, picked up his Happy Meal at the counter and the three of them scampered out the door. I’m betting he’ll remember this Christmas for a very long time.
I’m still sipping my coffee as the family at the big table start to head for the exit. The father, who is probably in his late 60s struggled with the zipper on his winter coat. One of his daughters, a pretty young woman with flowing black hair, knelt down in front of him and very lovingly zipped up his jacket. No doubt he did the same thing for her hundreds of times over the years, but tonight the roles were reversed.
I tossed out my coffee cup and walked out to the car, smiling.
My Christmas gifts came late in the day.