Last Thursday night I left work tired and brain dead as usual, looking forward to relaxing in the chair at my favorite nails/pedicure place. After selecting a shade of deep purple polish, I slipped my feet into the soft perfumed water, flipped the switch for back massage and reclined, preparing to shut my eyes and enjoy.
A young girl was seated in the chair next to me, waiting on her mom who was in the back getting her eyebrows waxed. The little girl looked at me hopefully, and I thought to myself "Oh crap, she wants to visit." Normally I'd feel more social, but I was tired and out of sorts, and really just wanted to melt into my chair.
The little girl glanced up at the cartoon playing on the big flat-screen tv in front of us, and then looked at me, and said in a quiet voice "I don't care very much for that show." That was a rather mature comment for one so small, so I asked her why. "They are rude to each other" she said, and I agreed with her. That seems to be a common trend in kids cartoons nowdays, obnoxious kids who are not only rude to each other but to adults as well. I told her that I didn't care much for it either.
I commented on the long pretty braid that held her curly hair neatly. "Do you braid your hair everyday?" I asked.
"No", she said very seriously, "My Grandma does. I can't do it myself, I am only five years old."
By now I was smiling. She introduced me to her doll, and I asked if she had a name. She looked at me like I was from another planet and said "It's Dora"! Well duh, of course, Dora the Explorer... I remember now! She pointed out that Dora was dressed as a ballerina, and that she wanted to be one someday too.
I commented on how pretty she looked, dressed just like Dora in a fluffy ruffled skirt and pink leotard. I told her I thought she would make a lovely ballerina. She smiled, then did a couple spins for me, arms poised gracefully above her head.
I noted how much I loved her colorful, sparkly tennis shoes that lit up with each step. Something I hadn't seen before. "Those are very cool... I wish they had them in my size!" I said. This is where most kids today would respond with a look of horror and come back with something obvious like "Your feet are too big". But not this sweet little girl...
She looked up at me with a beaming smile and said "Oh, but you can get some! If you go to the store at the mall they have sizes for children and bigger ones for grown ups on the other side. You could buy a pair of shoes just like these!"
Just then her Mom reappeared, collecting the little girl whose name I never found out, with Dora the ballerina in tow, and off they went, but not before she turned back to me and waved goodbye.
A little girl with a kind heart and a desire to be friendly made all the difference in this old woman's day. She helped me reconnect with my smile, and you know... I just might have to hunt for a pair of those sparkly shoes! :-)