Once the little girl in pink arrived.
I ushered her in front of me.
While, from a small distance away.
Her mother examined me with great care.
Finally, mother came to a decision.
With a small nod to herself.
She smiled at me.
I grinned back at her.
Before turning back.
To mind my little charge.
No more than six years old.
She stood in the midst of what would soon become chaos.
It was Black Friday.
The little girl in pink had her eyes on the prize.
She told us all about it.
A gift for my grandma, she said proudly.
Mama’s letting me get it all by myself!
There was no haughtiness.
As the little girl in pink surveyed her temporary kingdom.
A ring of women surrounding their prize.
Felicity never lasts as long as we want.
Sweet things rarely do.
All too soon.
The turbulence came.
Carts propelled by strangers.
Staking their claims all around.
Yet, through it all.
The little girl in pink stayed calm.
I was her barrier.
And I marveled, as I bumped against her time after time.
Keeping myself between her and strangers.
At how fully she trusted.
How safe she felt.
It endeared me.
It frightened me.
And for just a moment.
I got a glimpse of the earliest version of myself.
The confident, wee girl.
The one who believed in fairies and magic and Santa Claus.
In happiness and dreams come true.
I would be a princess one day.
I would use only good magic.
I would rule the world.
I miss that little girl me who barely was.
Much later that night.
After presents were bought.
Then tucked away.
I thought again of the little girl in pink.
She helped me to remember.
Why holidays exist.
It isn’t bargains or expensive gifts.
It’s the excitement of helping your mama get a gift for grandma.
The laughter you share with strangers.
The magic in the air.
All we have to do is capitalize on it.
And remember how to share.