I didn’t want to be awkward about it, but I needed the Lemon Moment in my head to become a reality.
As I wandered the aisles of Hobby Lobby, a dad with his daughter of about eight years of age wandered around near me. The girl asked a lot of questions. Her dad answered each of them attentively. Several times, she said, “Ooh, Mom would love this!” The dad then commented on the price and calculated how much of a predetermined amount might be left for the girl to spend as she pleased. It seemed evident to me that it was a ritual they often practiced.
Everything about the way they talked and interacted told me that they loved each other. The girl smiled often, and the dad wasn’t distracted by his schedule, phone, or other people.
On a whim, I took out my stack of index cards and wrote, “You don’t have to say anything. Take this $20 and surprise your daughter with something whimsical. And pay it forward? – X” On the next aisle, the dad and daughter meandered up the aisle toward me. I sat the index card on the shelf with the $20 bill. As the dad approached, I pointed at the index card. He reached to pick it up, reading it. His eyes jumped up to mine as I pulled my mask down and smiled. “Y’all are great together!” The dad said nothing as I walked away, though he smiled.
Whatever he might have thought, my Lemon Moment became a reality.
I wish I had a thousand dollars to reward them. I know they’d appreciate it and undoubtedly use some or all of it to surprise Mom, wherever she was. Somehow, I knew that they shared a lot of moments together.