Elsa whisked me out of the house today, up to Newtown for breakfast at Pat's Colonial Kitchen. We got there at the tag end of their serving hours, so there were several empty tables at the usually packed restaurant. I was relieved, since I did not want to wait out on the chilly porch and waiting in the tiny foyer gives me claustrophobia. Heading “upstairs” to be seated at my favorite table, we waved to a couple, also devotees of Pat’s regulars who have become friends of ours. They had their son and his young son and baby daughter, too.
We were seated up (two steps!) and they were seated down, so we did not talk to them a lot. The little boy, who I peg at around 2 1/2, came upstairs (two steps up is all) and was reverently touching some china objects on a very low table. His papa came up and I was very impressed by the young man, who looked down at his son and said in a very loving voice, "Gentle."
Not, "Don't touch." Not, "Be careful." Just that one word, "Gentle." His positive, reinforcing message went straight to my heart.
After we finished up and headed out to the car, we saw our friends help him load his children into his car. We stood with them as they waved goodbye to their son and grandchildren. After they disappeared from sight, his dad sort of casually leaned against the back of our car, almost looking like the car belonged to him. It FELT to us like it was his. Elsa coughed lightly, then said, "Ah, it's ours."
Seeming to come out of a reverie, the friend looked over to us and explained that they'd walked. He came over to my side, graciously opened the door, helped me, made sure I was settled and buckled in, and, before shutting it, cautioned, "Tuck in your foot," just like John or Elsa would and even fastened my seat belt. I was touched and very surprised.
Elsa waited for him to rejoin her and his wife at the back of the car, talking with them for a few moments before giving him a big hug and one to his wife. As they headed off home and Elsa slipped into the driver’s seat, I mentioned how floored I was by his tenderness.
"And you didn't even see him crying," she replied.
It turns out that his mother - whom he misses every day - had the same sort of car; he was showing me the tender loving care he showed her.
We never know what impact we are having on others by just breathing, by driving a certain car, by showing the tender loving care of a son to a mother.
It was a good day. Best wishes to you all for a good night, with special
blessing to Dick for being a loving son.
xoxoxox - Mum Lockhart