The balloon boy

Whenever I see a child selling balloons at a traffic light, my heart tightens a little as I remember a little boy from long ago. On a winter’s day, we were out celebrating the second birthday of our child, when a little boy requested us to buy some. He was about 7 years old, wearing worn out clothes. His hair was combed back neatly and his silent eyes had unfathomable depth. I silently clutched my son closer to me and told my husband to pay for all the balloons. The balloon seller’s eyes lit up, until I told him that he could keep the balloons for himself. he reached out his tiny little hands and said, “I am not asking for money, if you do not want the balloons, please take the money back.” Tears welled up in my eyes and we took some balloons. Every now and then I say a prayer for the child on the streets, a prayer that he preserved his character of working hard, of being self-sufficient, of integrity and wisdom that went beyond his years or lifestyle. God bless him and others like him. I have bought toys and other small curios from street vendors before and after that, but nobody else touched my heart. God bless that child and his family, who must be a grown man by now.DSC08258

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