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Sometimes waiting in line has its benefits – it connects you to people in your community that you’d never meet. Today, I met a little girl named Vanessa and her grandmother.  While a man behind me huffed and puffed and shuffled his feet in frustration over the wait, Vanessa, Grandma and I decided to make the best of the situation and talk to each other.

I made a comment to Grandma that we had a long wait, “passports or something.”

She nodded her head. “I like your ring,” she said to me.

Then Vanessa wanted to look at my ring, too. She held my hand gently to get a good look at it. It was a touching moment, a little girl gazing at a stranger’s ring. And I have to say it made my afternoon. I’m not around little people enough and I can forget their innocent beauty.

“Vanessa, show the lady your ring,” her grandma said.

Vanessa put her right hand out in a graceful gesture. There was a lovely silver ring with a tiny heart on her right finger. “I love your silver ring,” I told her. She smiled at me proudly and her big brown eyes got bigger.

She ran over to the little wooden bench up near the counter. I’ve always liked the bench the Roselawn Post Office keeps there. I think it honors the little people of the world. She briefly listened to the conversation that was going on between the postal clerk and his customer and quickly tired of it.

She tapped her grandma’s arm and motioned for her phone. Then, she tapped her grandma’s arm again for her ear clip. She carried them both to the bench, where she placed the ear clip on her ear and tuned out the conversation between the clerk and the customer. She looked so grownup sitting on the bench with her legs crossed. Too bad, I thought, she’s missing out on the opportunity that the front row offers her – a glimpse into the everyday world of people taking care of their business.

I wonder, when she grows up, if there’ll still be a post office around where her children can sit on a little bench and listen.

Girl on Bench