I was leaving a store in a strip mall and a young girl, about two years old, gave me a dazzling smile, waved enthusiastically, and hollered a hearty "Hello!" as she approached me.
I'm used to total strangers talking to me--all my life people have stopped me and asked for directions, or my advice on everything from the best place to eat (of which I am an expert), to the perfect greeting card for a teenager (for which I am clueless). While I am obviously approachable, I have also been informed I can be quite intimidating--especially when I am focused on a task. I have a tunnel vision. A dogged determination. I am in a world unto myself. However, since Bandit came into my life, most of my interactions with strangers revolves around my educating people to the Chinese Crested breed, both the Hairless and the Powderpuff varieties. I have even been known to talk about the unofficial designation of the "Hairy Hairless."
Tonight I was thrilled to be acknowledged although I was Bandit-less. I had a small Sally Field moment in which I thought, "she likes me! She really, really likes me!"
I was so thrilled when the two year old said hello so earnestly, I followed suit.
Perhaps I over-did my, "Well hello! How are you?" response, because she shrunk against her Mothers leg and the smile vanished from her face. Luckily her Mother and Father were aware their Little Darlin' had initiated our conversation, and did not view me as a threat or pervert out to harm their child. The Mother proceeded to school the child in an appropriate response.
Tonight, the girl chose unto raise her hand and claim "Blessed."
I returned the hand raised claim, and the two year old and I once again bonded with a couple of brilliant smiles. She was scared of me no longer.