I Got More Than I Gave

Among my other Halloween night liveliness, I also surprised some neighbors will full bags of candy. Despite having many suspicions about what transpires inside the house across the street, I took an overladen bag of full-size candy bars across the street before sunset. The family living there has a son about thirteen. As I approached, I noted they had the dining room table up against the front living room window. The table was loaded with all manner of tacos, meat, and related food.

While I couldn’t hear what was said, I did hear someone say in Spanish that I was approaching. The father stood up and approached the door. When he answered, I held up the bag and told him it was for his son.

His face went from reluctant to beaming with happiness. “Really? Wow.”


I handed him the heavy bag. I don’t know if we were speaking Spanish or English. (I love those moments where I’m entombed in the moment and language is a spectator.) He immediately gestured toward the table and invited me to have a bite with them. It floored and humbled me. I declined. I heard the mom say, “Wow!” when she saw the quantity of candy. As I walked away, the son jerked the door open again and shouted, “Thank you!” I could hear the smile in his voice, so I turned and smiled back.

*


At the end of the night, I did go to the inside corner of the street to give the group of kids there a full bin of full-size candy bars. They danced with joy. I think they’ll remember me. I’ll remember the look on their faces for a long time.
*


For a couple of the other neighbors, I left an extensive offering of candy for their children at their doors. I didn’t hear back from either – and that’s okay.

What I will hold close to my heart is the face of the father across the street when he realized that I was giving his son such an unexpected gift.

The other issues I mentioned, unspoken suspicions – they fell away.

Whatever I accomplished there, I think he changed his perception of me.

I don’t know how the rest of y’all are in this regard, but these moments comprise a chunk of what humanity should be.

I got more than I gave, believe me.

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