Innocence. I want to share a story about innocence.

It came from the kid who was bagging my groceries last night at our local Tom Thumb (well, if you can count a can of beans and a bottle of wine as “groceries”).
“How are you doing?” I asked him.
“Honestly, I’m a little anxious,” he replied.
“Did you say ‘anxious’?” I asked.
“Yeah, anxious,” he said. “I have a date with a girl tomorrow.”
“Is this your first date?”
“Yes sir. First ever.”
“Well,” I told him, “Don’t be too anxious. Just remember that she liked you enough to go on the date!”
“Yeah,” he said. ” Thanks for that. I found out she likes boba (tea), so I’m going to take her for some, even though I hate boba tea.”
“Whatever you do, don’t tell her that.” I said, picking up my bags and wishing him luck.
“OK,. Thanks sir,” he said.
Walking to my car, I had a smile that was so big it curved up past my mask. “What a gift that interaction was,” I told myself. A gift of innocence.
You see, with everything…and I do mean ev-er-y-thing…that has gone on this year, it can be easy to lose our innocence and, instead, just clinch up, hunch up, frown up and “woe is me” our way through the year. Yet, here was this kid (and I do mean kid, maybe 16?) feeling anxious and excited and hopeful (and more anxious!). And that’s all he was thinking about. Not a pandemic, not a year, not anything. Just the innocent promise of a first date.
All of this got me to thinking.
What if we adopted that kind of innocence as we enter this most magical and mystical and wonder-full of holiday seasons? A season when folks of so many faiths come together to celebrate the return of the light. To celebrate birth and gifts and believing. To celebrate being alive.
What if we opened the windows and doors of each day this season and let the innocence of what is not yet known but very much still possible wash over us?
And lift us higher and higher. To the true spirit of the season. I kinda like that idea (though like that kid in Tom Thumb, I don’t really like boba tea!).

This-n-That is just that (and this!): A collection of words that don’t fit elsewhere, but that I still want to share.