Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Innocence

You may or may not know this, but I spent the majority of this past week in Detroit for a work conference. I'd never been there before, and while it wasn't exactly my first choice destination, I was still excited to go! Anyway, I plan to create an entry soon that talks about some of the finer details of my trip, but first I want to talk about a specific moment on the trip that really stuck out to me.

The conference ended at noon on Friday, and many of us conference go-ers had travel arrangements that kept us in the city until Saturday. This meant a perfect day for exploring! Well, one would think... Unfortunately, about half of Detroit lost power during our visit, and the half affected by this outage included just about every destination we wanted to see (primarily museums). Because of this, we spent a good portion of the afternoon walking from place to place in hopes that something, anything would be open. Nope. After awhile, we decided to try navigating Detroit's public transportation system (which is practically nonexistent, mind you). I was with three other people, but I chose to sit with a stranger on the bus while the rest of them were together in the back. Just a little bit of context, the four of us were the only white people on the bus. Not even really worth noting, just an experience I'd never really encountered before. Interestingly, because I sat away from the rest of my group, I was instantly engaged in conversation with many locals, all who just assumed I also lived in Detroit. It was actually kinda cool to talk to everyone. Now comes the experience that stuck out to me...

The person I sat next to got off at a stop, so I moved over to the inside to make room for someone else to sit next to me if they wanted to. Well, across the aisle from me was an adorable little boy with who I'd presume to be his grandma. He waved at me right when I got on the bus, and he kept eyeing me up during the ride. As soon as I moved over, he waved at me again, and then he promptly came over and plopped his little butt down next to me. He said, "Do you mind if I sit with you?" Oh my goodness! How do you resist that?! So, for the next 20 or so minutes, I had a pretty extensive conversation with this little boy who was so enamored and comfortable with me that my heart couldn't help but melt! He was 5, but extremely articulate. In that sense, he reminded me of my nephew Tayt. We talked about everything from his love for Target (that's where he'd just been) to the fact that he loves the "BINGO" song (which he gladly sang quite loudly when I requested it of him). He expressed concern for me that I had to go out in the rain without an umbrella, and every time I'd look at him with a smile, he'd say, "What?!" in a cute, questioning little tone. If it's possible, I feel like I fell in love with this little boy in 20 minutes. I've thought about him a lot. He was so young, so innocent, and so trusting. He felt completely safe with me, and didn't care at all about the fact that we'd never met before. As I got up to get off the bus, I grabbed his hand and said, "Nice to meet you, little man." As I stepped out, he looked back at me and said, "It was nice to meet you, too!" Ahhhh. I could've turned into a puddle. I don't know why, but he had such a strong affect on me. Pretty much EVERYONE on the bus took notice. They were all smiling. :)

Just a little story to demonstrate the fact that no matter who we are, or where we come from, we can find ways to connect with others we don't know. I hope for good things for him in the future, and I think he'll remain in my head for a long time!

5 comments:

rlzimmerman said...

Awsome story Renee, love it!

Courtney said...

Oh my goodness, almost brought tears on that one. I just love little happy kiddos!

Renee said...

Thanks ladies! I tell ya, it could bring tears to MY eyes too! He was so sweet, and Court, I also love little happy kiddos. :)

rlzimmerman said...

You know Renee, I've read your story a couple times and it's not just a cute story, it's that if more people would put even a fraction of an effort that you did the world would be so much better, thanks for that! And it really is so easy to do and fun too!

Renee said...

Aww, thank you, Laurie!! That is really sweet of you to say! :) And I agree, putting in just a little effort to do good things and to get to know people goes a LONG way. Love stuff like this!