Looking over, I saw a pair of wide, innocent eyes staring back into mine.
The child couldn’t have been more than about five or six years old, and must have seen my forearm cane and stainless-and-plastic leg brace. Naturally curious, the question came from a child’s wonder, a desire to know.
How to answer? Behind the child, I saw a young woman – probably the mother – now looking at us with a shocked expression reserved for when your offspring does something totally embarrassing and inappropriate in public. My own mother would have called it being mortified.
There was also a certain amount of fear. Was I about to tell her child a story of injury, war, something else that she didn’t want known about until older? On my side of the equation, how much do I tell this innocent little one without making fear a part of life?
“Well, I got sick, and later, they gave me these things to help me get better.” I said. “So I come here for a check-up every so often.”
“Oh, okay! Me too!”
Already forgotten, question answered, the tiny human went back to the mother and hugged her. Over the child’s head, she looked at me and mouthed an appreciative ‘Thanks!’ Innocence preserved for another day.
I grinned a little bit inside. “Time enough to learn about illness, debilitation, and mortality”, was my thought.
Right now, at the beginnings of life, everything is wondrous, magical.
It was nice to see the world again through the eyes of a child.
John Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for hire. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org . To see more of his product write-ups on LinkedIn, join the group Products In Search of A Market . On Facebook, join Products in Search of a Market (Facebook).