It’s been over seven months since we ventured out to Central Market in Lancaster. However, we weren’t quite ready to head home after school today so I detoured out there for a quick lunch with Isabelle and my mom (who has been visiting for the past couple of days). My mom hasn’t been to Central Market yet so I thought grabbing lunch there would make for a fun excursion.
I found a spot easily on the street. Once I maneuvered the car 10+ times to parallel park, I turned off the car, and began looking for change. I gathered up enough nickels, dimes, and quarters for an hour and a half. More than enough time considering I needed to get home and do some work for a meeting and a presentation I have later this week.
After I fed the meter, I unstrapped Isabelle from her car seat. We reviewed the rules with the most important one being “hold on to my hand.” (That one needs a lot of repeating these days!) She dutifully held my hand as we walked away from the car. Once we crossed to the other side of the street, she began interacting with people she passed. “Hi!” she said in a loud toddler voice to a woman.
“Hi!” the woman said back with a grin.
“Aren’t you friendly!” I said.
She beamed up at me.
We walked down the sidewalk towards the market. “Hi!” she exclaimed to two men in business suits.
“Hi,” they said seriously.
I looked down at Izzy and found her smiling back at me with a goofy grin. What a ham!
Isabelle’s cheerful hellos continued as we went into the market. Every person she passed — man or woman, senior citizen or baby, worker or shopper — got an enthusiastic greeting. Most of the time each person got a smile and a wave too. And each time I said, “You’re so nice!” or “You’re so friendly!” she stared back at me and smiled as if to say I know.
In the end, her kindness paid off. There weren’t any empty tables left at Central Market when the three of us wanted to sit down for lunch. I noticed one table with three empty chairs. I walked over to the women at the table and asked, “Is anybody sitting here?”
“No,” they replied in unison.
“May we sit with you?” I asked.
“Of course,” one lady replied. “We’ve met you before.”
I looked at her quizzically.
“Your daughter said ‘hi’ to me earlier. I remember those eyes and that curly hair. You can definitely sit with us!” she said motioning towards the seats.
See, kindness does pay off!