Earlier this week I joined a friend for lunch in a local restaurant. While we were eating, a small girl and her mother came through the front door and headed for the table closest to us. The child instantly caught my eye. She was beautiful, stunningly beautiful: a perfect face and a mass of golden curly hair that reminded me of the girl who sings "Tomorrow, Tomorrow," in the Broadway musical, Annie.
As the mother and daughter came nearer, I smiled at the child, wiggled my fingers in a miniature wave and said, "hi." I half-expected her to look away, perhaps move to her mother's other side so that she felt protected from a stranger.
But she didn't. Instead, she instantly smiled, waved, and said "hi" back to me.
I must tell you. The child was so charming that one might be excused if, for a moment, he seriously questioned the Calvinistic doctrine of total depravity. At least in her case. And this said simply on the basis of a smile, a wave, and a "hi."
When my friend and I were finished eating, we stood and put on our coats. Seeing we were about to leave, the girl waved again to me and said, with the same radiant smile, "Bye!"
Once again I was romanced."Sweetheart," I said, "Thank you so much for giving me your wonderful smile."
"You're welcome," she said.
"What's your name," I asked, hoping her mother would not object to a strange man speaking to her daughter.
"I'm Lilly," she said looking me straight in the eye.
I thought it interesting that she did not turn to her mother to ask it was okay to talk with someone she didn't know. Apparently she'd simply made up her mind to treat me as a friend.
"How old are you, Lilly?" I asked. "Six, seven, ten … maybe?" I purposely misjudged her age just to see if she'd further respond.