On Saturday morning I headed to our local shopping mall to run some errands. I walked around Woolies pushing my trolley, mindlessly loading groceries. By the time I had got into the checkout queue it was long. And I was irritated, besides there were a number of other places I would rather be than stuck inside a hot, crowded shopping mall.
I have to admit that I love to people watch. I get it from my mama. Trying to figure out people and their lives is fascinating to me, creepy I know. And so standing in that long line my eyes began to wander. They came to rest on a family paying for their groceries at the till. A Mom, a Dad and a young man who had his back to me. Your average, normal family of three.
I couldn’t help but watch them. They were so happy, there was an aura of sereneness that covered them like a blanket. The dad leaned over to his son and whispered something into his ear, they then collapsed into a fit of laughter, sharing some private joke, the mom jokingly rolled her eyes.
It was at this moment that the young man turned around and to my surprise I noticed that he had been born with Down Syndrome. He must have been in his mid 20’s. A naughty, mischievous young man.
The father must have felt my stares because he turned and caught my eye. I don’t know if it was because of the huge goofy smile that sat transfixed to my face or the fact that he thought I may in fact be slightly crazy, but he gave me the slightest smile back and then they were off.
I can tell you that it took everything inside of me not to leave my fully laden trolley, gallop after the family, tackle them in a bear hug and shout at the top of my lungs “YES! You feel it too! I can feel that all encompassing, pure, life changing love and pride that we feel for our son too!”
But that would have just been crazy. And a little creepy.
So instead I continued to stand in the slow moving queue, beaming from ear to ear, feeling like I had just watched the most feel good, chick flick, rom com in the world.
So to that gorgeous family at the till at Woolies at Gateway, with the most handsome son. You will probably never see this, but I wanted to let you know that you made me so happy. You made me so excited for the future and your joy was so tangible. You don’t even know me, but your evident love for one another made more of an impact on me than you will ever know. Thank you.