I woke up in a bit of a stupor from a really deep dream...one that inspired me to write. I need to keep a notebook by my bedside and jot these ideas down while I'm still in my dream state because 10 minutes after waking I'm already fuzzy on the deep thoughts I had to share.
I stopped by Target last night on the way home from work for a few 'essentials'. The cashier was a young man that looked and felt familiar but I wasn't sure why. He was tall and thin with a largish head and beautiful big brown eyes that were set wide apart. He spoke loudly, commenting often to customers on their products, "you have (fill in the blank), you know what that means!" Then he would proceed to tell them just what that meant. The people in front of me were a (very clearly uncomfortable) fiftiesh looking man and his teenaged daughter. The cashier pointed out that BEER was an item amongst the man's shopping selections. "What?", asked the man in an undoubtedly irritated tone. "BEER", said the cashier, "BEER, right in front of you...you know what that means?" The man did not answer, his face reddened. The assumed by me to be daughter seemed to be holding in a giggle with a sweet smile...probably sensing her Daddy's discomfort. (This is the part where you have to close your eyes and make sure you are picturing this scene so you can experience it with me). The cashier answered his own question...'it means you could be an AL-CE-HOLIC!" LOL!
(If you haven't yet gathered it, the precious cashier was special needs. I don't know his diagnosis and I wished the customer in front of me wasn't so uncomfortable. It was that kind of discomfort that made me want to help him understand the beauty and humor in the cashier's childlike innocence - I wanted him to see the role this person played in our world and I wanted him to replace his discomfort with love and respect.)
Zoom ahead to my turn in line....I'm still trying to figure out why this gentleman was so familiar to me. As soon as I got in line he asked me if I knew what today was. I meandered...it's Monday, it's Valentine's week, it's the Chinese New Year....."Yep", he said..."guess what else?" "It's my birthday!" He then sang proudly the Happy Birthday song. We conversed and I found out he turned 38 years old yesterday. Then it hit me why he was familiar. I asked him if he went to Jenks. "YES!" This cashier just happened to be a boy that I rode bikes with as a child. He lived next door to some dear friends I grew up with. Everyone at Jenks knew him. He had a lovely sister inbetween mine and Nathan's classes and he was from a family who always supported, loved, nurtured and believed in him. And I very specifically remember his joy, his smile, his innocence....all the things that made me recognize him today. He didn't remember me but I got to wish him a Happy Birthday and tell the customer behind me that it was his birthday. At that point, I even got to introduce him. And that my friends MADE MY DAY!
So many things (little and big) have cemented for me the significance of the job I have taken at Sooner Start. People are people. Normal is a setting on a dryer. Wake up! Open your eyes and your heart. Be kind, there are most certainly angels in our presence.