A thin blonde wisp of a boy floats through the store,
More eager for understanding than treats,
No greedy fingers or whining, just being.

The little will-o’-the-wisp hovers
Beneath the helium balloons
A place befitting his ethereal presence,
But readily takes my offered hand
To help him follow mom’s direction to join her.
“I’m right here.” says his harried mom,
Her tone colored with the strain
Of a thousand previous hasty judgements.
Yes, dear, I see you.

Minutes later he finds me in the aisle
Chirping, “Mama, mama, mama,”
While touching his thumb to his chin.
Hand in hand, we find her again
And I remind her she’s doing good,
No need for apologies or worries.

When they arrive at checkout,
His insistent staccato repetitive
“Mimi, mimi, mimi, mimi, mimi”
Joins with the beep of the register.
He comes to rest at my side,
Once again placing his hand in mine.
I flesh out and co-narrate
His repeated single word signed version of
The adventures and joys of Mimi’s house,
Making crafts and riding the side-by-side.

The rest of my day has been buoyed
With the blessing of the gentle brush
Of this sweet butterfly of a boy