I was hiding in a bathroom stall when suddenly I found myself eavesdropping on an innocent conversation. I had signed up to help translate for Toys for Tots during the Salvation Army’s distribution night where the parents come to choose one gift for their child. For many this will be the only gift they receive for Christmas.
Before my shift started I ran to the bathroom. That’s when I heard a little girl talking to her mom. I guessed she was seven. I couldn't see her but envisioned dark ringlets framing her face. Maybe she had her ears pierced. Maybe her favorite color was purple.
“Mama, what’s in that big red bag?” said the young voice.
“A surprise,” came the reply.
“Mama, please can I look in the bag?”
“No,” the mom repeated, “It’s a surprise.”
“Mama,” the little girl paused and then asked, “Can I help wrap what’s in the bag when we get home?”
Tears hit my eyes, hot and fierce. My own daughter calls me mama. My own kids would ask these questions adding a few more.
That's when I sensed we are all the same. We are all the same. We all own varying levels of curiosity and questions and anticipation. We all hope for a pleasant surprise in life. We all desire to care about something and for someone who will care about us.
We all desire to love and to be loved.