a bit before her birthday, eliza and i were sitting at a table eating french fries before filling our cart with things we “needed.” eliza beamed at a woman wearing an old nurses shirt that had dora on it. the woman was with two others and they were sharing one cup of coffee. her shirt was not from her job, just one that she liked. their appearance pointed to a slice of life that i didn’t know. as we visited, the man with them averted his gaze, but the two women clucked on about eliza. soon they stood over our table and i felt suspicion rise in me. i was planning my strategy for how to share my wealth with them when they asked eliza how old she was. eliza looked at me and i explained that her birthday was soon and she would be three. one woman nodded to the other and dug in her jacket pocket. of a small roll of bills, she peeled one off and handed it to eliza. then with her face closer to ours than i would have ever imagined would be she said: you take this now. you buy whatever you’ve always wanted. you take it. i had no strategy for this one.
so we simply took it. i was humbled and overcome with grace. again.