The boy has elicited worries from his parents for years now. He’s just too friendly. He’ll walk up to everyone and introduce himself. We used to call him the lil’ politician, the way he takes to moms and tots. His father and I stand back, half smiling, secretly worrying he’ll offend someone and we’ll have to step in to save him.
Yesterday we took the family to the Irish festival at the CCHS Sullivan center. The set up is simple, booths with goods for sale, an area for the kids, food, beer and a stage to host dancers and musicians alike. We arrived shortly before 4 pm and found ourselves a table.
The kids are at an age where the husband and I can sit back and relax–while keeping and eye out for trouble. In the past, we would follow the kids, almost to the point of embarrassment. Now, the kids simply embarrass us. While I flittered about talking to various folks, the kids disappeared into the web of kids games and sugar. At one point my husband came and grabbed me…”You gotta see this!” he said in an excited voice. As I approached our table, there sat, a slate plaque with a horse head. The title of the plaque read “The boy’s Horse”.
Knowing that we did not have the cash to purchase the plaque, I asked, “Where did this come from?” worrying the boy might have swiped it. “He was given the plaque from woman running the booth”. Oh I see, it was a “get lost” gift? “No, he charmed the woman”. My boy? I walked over to the booth, my debit card in hand, ready to pay for his plaque, as a way of apologizing for him.
As I entered, the boy followed me in, saying to the woman, “Now this is my Mom”. She stood up and shook my hand. A bit embarrassed by the situation, I said, “I’m sorry if he was bothering you, what do we owe you for the plaque? Smiling she answered, “Nothing he earned the plaque. I made it just for him, he’s quite the salesman.” As she talked to me I kept thinking, did I just enter the twilight zone or something? Then she went on, “He’s been standing outside our booth and anyone who happened to walk by, he’s grabbed their attention and pulled them in to take a look. We’ve made quite a few sales, strictly off his precociousness.” Her husband concurred. “You’ve got quite a little a salesman there”.
Still not really believing them, I said, “Are you sure I can’t pay for that plaque?” “No”, came their reply. With a laugh she said, “I’m happy to meet you. Every time he pulled a woman into our booth, I kept thinking that was his Mom, but instead it was someone else. He’s a very nice young man, something you don’t see that often anymore. You should be very proud of him.”
As I exited the booth, my head still hanging in disbelief I went back to our table. We were ready to leave. I grabbed the boy to hug him and said, “You are a charmer, my boy.” I looked back to the booth and watched my brother Dan purchase a plaque from them. He was just as impressed as I, by their generosity. My husband smiled, the kids were happy and I am blessed.