He looks terrified and I don’t see his lips moving. I give him a thumbs-up and he offers me a pained smile. He’ll be thrilled I’m capturing this moment on my IPhone for posterity.
As the choir retreats down the aisle and the service concludes, my husband and I announce that a celebration is in order. In our family, nothing says “we’re proud of you” louder than a pile of warm pancakes. That’s how we get here.
Here is a standing-room-only waiting area of a popular breakfast restaurant. Filled with the after church crowd, everyone huddles for warmth against the cold blast of air each time the front door swings open.
I. sits beside me and we replay his choir performance note by note. “And you had a good time?” I ask. He nods his head yes.
The door opens and the crowd folds into their coats as two grandmothers join the throng of waiting diners.
“I.? Get up, honey, and give your seat to that lady,” I say, raising and shuffling to the side of the upholstered bench. I. stands and moves to the side.
The two women see a small hole in the crowd and elbow their way to the open seats.
“It’s polite to give up your seat to someone who’s older,” I explain. “On a bus, in a doctor’s office, here, in a restaurant.”
He turns towards the two ladies and smiles.
“Gentlemen,” I tell him, “are always kind.”