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2020-10-05T12:25:51-04:00October 4th, 2020|Parenthood|

Our morning ritual

If you are on our route
in the mornings
maybe you’ve seen us,
the little grey car
back windows down
and two kids
shouting compliments
to strangers
as we drive by.

I love your hat!
Your dog is so cute!
You’re amazing!

I can’t remember how it started,
this rambunctious ritual
on the way to school
that they do even
when it’s raining
and their faces
get soaked.

But I know why
they continue.

It happens the same way
each time.

The compliment,
suspiciously loud,
clangs against
the stranger’s guarded face
at first.

And then as the random sounds
line up in her mind,
the words take shape
and are suddenly placed
in a compartment
that clearly hasn’t been used
in a while.

Her face lights up
and she overcompensates,
as if wanting to apologize
for doubting them,

so she waves and smiles
and my kids wave and smile back
and it is this
that makes them keep doing it,

the thrilling realization
that even the smallest
and least powerful among us
has an astonishing ability
to make
someone’s day.

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