Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Breakfast of Champions?

This being Easter Week and all, I dusted off a memory from some years back of a previous Easter Week observation that’s a little more than just that (I think). You tell me. 

In the fast food place, standing behind a dad and his young daughter, based on the time of day and their clothes possibly on their way home from Mass (Holy Communion and a McGriddle, who could ask for anything more) I realize from the way he's speaking to the counter person about employment that he doesn't have a job. There's a discussion of shift availabilities (all of them) and pay differentials (doesn't sound like many) and he's nodding as she's talking while scribbling names and numbers down on a McNapkin. 

It's funny, I think, as we age, it takes us longer to bounce back from the knocks and bruises of everyday life here on the ant farm. I remember a coarse witticism about endurance at a specific act for the course of a night and how you know you're getting old, and how I laughed when I first heard it.

Same with the rest of our lives, too, I guess. In our twenties, then thirties, forties and now fifties and sixties, we move from position to position with nary a thought--as the decades advance, each job starts to look more like a career until the economic tsunami so many have endured in recent years swept away savings, self-respect and maybe home and hearth. Wall Street wrecked Main Street and no one went to jail-and then we wonder about our national cynicism.

The child at his feet was no more than five and had a tiara on and a pink fairy dress of the kind that parents think every daughter at that age loves, and perhaps they do. He's making sure he understands the sequence in which to call the phone numbers, because 'if you call region before district, they'll tell you there aren't any vacancies' when his child squeals in delight and holds up her prize.

She's found a dime on the floor perhaps someone dropped their change from a purchase, or, more likely, it didn't quite make it through the slot in the counter collection box for the network of supportive housing for parents of children with cancer the franchise has constructed across the USA and around the world.

I'm not alone in the latter supposition as the father bends to pick his daughter up and quietly explains to her where the dime really came from and, by implication and inference, where it truly belongs. Without hesitation, safe in his arms, the child leans across her father and drops the dime through the slot in the top of the box. He kisses her softly on her brow and turns his attention back to the counter-person.

He smiles as his order is given to him and both dad and daughter head for the parking lot and home with breakfast and, perhaps, a new hope. For a just a moment, a bright spring morning brightens even more.

The past is gone, it's all been said.
So here's to what the future brings, I know tomorrow you'll find better things
 -bill kenny

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