As I drove toward the intersection, the light turned yellow, then red. I stopped, thankful that at least I would be the first driver out of the gate after this, the longest stoplight on our route. A red pickup truck pulled beside our car on the driver’s side, and I saw a little smiling face looking at me from the passenger window. I was eye-to-eye with a girl about 5 or 6 years old. Her glistening eyes kept looking at me. Joy flooded her face. I stared wide-eyed at her and instinctively smiled back.
When she looked away briefly to dance a doll on her knees, I continued grumbling to my husband about our late start to meet our son, daughter-in-law and grandson for his birthday dinner.
Turning back to my left, there she was again with that generous smile of innocent friendliness! Her smile was so contagious that my shoulders relaxed and I felt anxiety drain from my body. I motioned to my husband to notice the smiling girl in the truck beside us. He commented about her beautiful smile.