Yesterday, my family and I were out an at outlet mall just walking around and trying to catch a good sale or two (we actually found some, too!).
While we were there, I couldn’t help but see my daughter go right into her routine of greeting random strangers passing by us. For adults, this may seem all to weird; to randomly speak to a stranger walking past us, who may or may not interact. For a toddler who is consistently in a joyous mood, this is second nature.
I watched my daughter as she walked around with us, yelling out the most adorable “Hi!” that she could muster up. She accompanied it with a smile and a wave. Everyone she passed looked down at her, smiled and said “hi!” There were also comments of her being so cute and sweet. I couldn’t help but smile and say thank you.
Rarely have I encountered a time when someone wouldn’t speak back to her or just not realize she was talking to them. It makes me emotional every time because I see the happiness that my daughter has in life, especially in a time where a lot of Black men and women are fearful of our own lives and our children’s lives; and here my daughter is, carefree and radiant, spreading around just a little bit of love the best way she knows how, by something as simple as a greeting.
To anyone that my daughter has said hi to in the past, present and future:
I hope her spreading that kindness to you on that day, in that moment in time helped you in ways she or I may never understand. I hope she brought a smile to your heart. I hope her innocence captured something in you. I hope it made you say hi to someone you didn’t know. Ultimately, I hope that one small gesture was something that made your day, if even in those small seconds of time passed between the two of you, because I know she touches my heart when she spreads love to people.
Consider it a small way that even a toddler can pay it forward.