Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Month, Day 19: The Candy Man Can ..

He comes charging purposefully into the TH almost every weekend: "Hi, Auntie Karyn ..." he calls out vaguely, his eyes focused on the goal, which is somewhere behind me. Sometimes I might catch him in mid-stride and give him a little hug, but then he wriggles out of that interruption and continues on his way back behind the counter, back to the "little fridge", back to the chocolate Ovations.

Once he's got that little mint stick in his hand, he's good to go for a while and can sit and chat and eat lunch and choose what colour cup he wants his juice in.

He might deke over to the tea trolley once or twice during the course of his family's visit, just to check on the jelly beans and make sure they're safe ...

And then, right before his family is getting ready to leave, he'll come and stand at the counter, gazing up at me beguilingly, waiting for the word that invites him to come back and get four chocolates this time - one for Dad, one for Mom, one for Soren and one for Theo.

Four chocolates or partial multiples of four - does it really matter? Since the first time this little chap has come into the TH, carried by his Dad with his Mom hovering close by, I have loved him. There is something about the solemn sweetness of his face, the way he thinks things through before answering, his sudden flashing smile or deep little chuckle, that make my heart sing.

Not long ago he came running in on a Saturday morning just to show me his cool new sunglasses ... okay, and maybe to get a chocolate.

The next time he came back I asked him where the sunglasses were. "They breaked," he answered sadly, shaking his head. "But I didn't sit on them - I was using them when they breaked." 

Theo is this month's representative of a number of little guests who come into the TH, in whom I delight and for whom I am so thankful. As some of you know, if I had my druthers, the whole TH would be the scene of one giant tea party for ages 2 - 8! So when Theo and his brother come in, I kind of forget that they have been chauffeured by their parents and that I should chat to Brian and Katherine as well ...

Soren is starting to develop his own singular charm too. One Saturday at lunch time I came out of the kitchen to talk to the four of them at their table but Theo and Soren weren't there; Theo was sitting cross-legged in front of Baby Elephant and Soren was standing up hugging him and murmuring little words into his perfectly accessible, perfectly friendly ear. I would have loved to know what Soren was saying - and what Baby Elephant answered back, because the tiny boy was certainly beaming!

As Theo was leaving last weekend and he asked if he could have one more jelly bean, all I could think of was that this child leaves behind so much more sweetness than he could ever take with him.

That, and that I don't want his parents to give me his first dental bill ...

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