Back in the grocery store. And no, I don't live there. "They" won't let me buy any more Morning Moo, which necessitates a weekly run to the store for milk.
Anyway, crusing thru the aisles. A young man stops, looks at me, and says, "Don't I know you?" Tall, good looking kid. Beautiful blue eyes. Gorgeous, long, thick, black hair... In other words not the kind of guy I don't notice.
And...I got nothin'. He gets the blank look from me and I start to shake my head , smile apologetically and move on.
"No. Wait!" he insists. "Didn't you used to show sheep?"
"Ummm, yeah." My mind races. It's been a few years, but maybe a kid from one of the other 4H groups???
He stops my musing with, "I'm Carl."
Now hopefully, it was just a split second but it felt a lot longer, as the wheels in my ancient brain started to turn and the light finally came on. I was a 4H leader for 15 years. Carl & his brother Gene were in my group for a while.
"Carl? Little Carl?" My eyes travel from his toes to his head, which is now a minimum of a foot taller than when I last saw him. I start laughing. "Oh my, I would have walked by you a hundred times and never have known." He grins sheepishly, shuffles his feet and says, "Yeah, I know, the long hair and all."
"Oh no, kiddo. The hair looks good on you. It's just that you're so tall, so handsome, and so...grownup. Wow!"
It was great seeing him. We chatted for a while and caught up. He graduates this year. It was time to go so I stepped forward to give him a hug goodbye. Now some kids, would give the old lady an awkward pat on the shoulder, but Carl just grinned, grabbed me up and schmunched me to him.
"Good times - 4H, county fair, sheep, hogs, heat..."
Yeah, good times. A lot of work. But yeah...
And then he was gone.
The little boy with the great big smile, all gone. In his stead I watch a fine young man walk away.
Note to all young people: If you want to make an adult's day... Let them know you remember them. Let them know that somewhere along the way, they made a difference.
You'll make their day. Who knows, you might even bring a tear to their eye.
Or just plain make them cry.
Like...all the way home.