A quiet moment
Having just returned from a great vacation, I’m going to go in a slightly different direction than usual today.
Last Wednesday found us at Hershey Park (a very large amusement park in Pennsylvania). We arrived at 11 am and stayed pretty much until closing (9 pm), with the kids taking a brief stroller nap in the middle of the day to recharge. At the end of the day, as you can imagine, we were all pretty tired.
J, however, had the urge to shop. She took N and disappeared into a store. C didn’t want to shop (bless him), so we waited outside. I led him over to a small concrete curb surrounding a tree where we sat down to watch the world go by.
I reached into a pocket and pulled out a bag of Teddy Grahams that I’d hidden earlier on. C was more than a little intersted, so we shared the bag.
As is the way of amusement parks, music was playing out of hidden speakers. In this case, it was fairly mellow, but still had a good beat. We started nodding and swaying in time to the music.
Every once in a while, C would point out something: "Look, look! That’s a big teddy bear!" I’d nod and comment. He’d nod, and we’d go back to bopping and munching.
At this point, a sizeable number of people were leaving the park. Family units would occasionally gather in front of us to plan their escape route. One of these was fairly large, with ten (or so) people surrounding an older white-haired gentleman. They were all yammering happily away about what they’d seen and where they were going next, and he was standing in the middle of it all, just looking around.
After a few minutes he noticed us, and as he watched C the sweetest smile spread across his face. He and I made eye contact briefly and shared a nod, but I didn’t want to intrude so I looked away. Whatever memory he was having, he didn’t need me involved. He watched us for another 5 minutes or so before being drawn back in and swept away by his own family.
It was one of those great quiet little moments that are so rare. Sitting on a stoop eating crackers with your son while the crowd and music swirls around you.
I can’t help but think that the older gentleman was seeing himself – and I can’t help but hope that I was doing the same.