small victories

my friend Catherine told me a story today about a moment of everyday drama from the door of a supermarket. which may be why i noticed this…..

later i ended up in Sainsbury’s walking down the middle aisle before you get to the eggs. Where two parents were hectoring a boy of no more than five for ‘not behaving responsibly’ and telling him ‘that he should know to stay close by’.

i assume that they had temporary lost him and, in reuniting, were expressing their relief. but there was something in the disappointment of their tone that struck me. And the boy just stood and soaked it up.  As i passed i caught his eye, smiled and winked. And he caught it, i am certain, as an affirmation that it was not he but his parents that were, in this moment, being unreasonable.

I saw them later at the checkouts queuing with a full trolly as i scanned lettuce and too-green bananas and he tried to wink back with a smile.

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