Tonight I went to Beacon Hill Red Apple with Alexander to pick up dinner provisions. He was a bit squirrelly, typical for these two kids after school and before dinner. I was tired and hungry.
The trip was pretty typical: lots of questions, about everything, "Why this … why that … what is this … why?"
Alexander is 4 and his sister is 5. Even hungry and tired, I try to thoroughly answer every question, patiently. Tonight, after checking out and getting back to the car, an elderly man approached his car next to ours. Alexander's door was open with me in it getting him buckled in…lately it's a longer process than it needs to be because both kids have so many questions. I apologize to this man. He tells me to take my time. I thank him. I close Alexander's door, my driver door still open and Alexander can hear everything. I again tell him thank you and that I really appreciated his patience.
He then says, "So, can I tell you something?" I respond, "Absolutely, yes, please!"
He says, "Do you know that your son is brilliant? He is so inquisitive. He wants to know everything, how it works and why. He is just so smart."
I say, "Yes, I do think he is very smart, I hope so anyway. Thank you."
He says, "Do you know what else and more importantly? He loves you so much!"
I tell him, "Yes, you're right. He does, and he tells me so. I make sure to tell him and his sister every day that I love them and hug them both."
He tells me, "My son is 35 and I still tell him every day that I Iove him and hug him when I see him."
I tell him, "It's so important to hear that from your parents. It was a different time when I was a kid and I wanted to hear and feel that more from my dad."
He says,"You know your dad loved you very much. You know that, right?"
I say,"Yes, I knew and I know now."
He then tells me,"Love is so important. We need more of it. I think that is really what we need right now. We have forgotten that. You just talking to me, this is love. Thank you!"
I tell him he is right, absolutely right! I thank him and we shake hands.
I get into the car and close my door. I ask Alexander if he heard what we were talking about. I tell him that we talked about why love is important and that the man made me so happy that I was crying, that it was a beautiful and wonderful gift. I then tell Alexander that our job is to love and be good to one another. He smiles.
I have tears in my eyes as I write this. What a wonderful gift. Yes, we need more love. When we give from love, it is instantly refilled in our hearts. It is the most sustainable human emotion. I am so lucky to have received that gift. I share it with you from my heart full of love.
Christopher Peguero lives on Beacon Hill with his husband, Anthony, daughter Adela (5), son Alexander (4) and pitbull Ruby (13 people years). When not answering questions on why the sky is blue, coloring, cooking paella or brewing beer, he is the environmental equity program manager at Seattle City Light.