Step-Father and Step-Daughter

The Innocence of Children

How can a child look at little black ants crawling up and down the bark of a tree and become so fascinated?

There was a Man and a Woman.  And there were ex-wives and ex-husbands.  And there were friends and family giving the Man and Woman their advice on how the world should be.  There were work conflicts and roommates with different points of view and there were bills to be paid.

And in the middle of it all was a Little Girl.

There was nothing good to come of the relationship between the Man and the Woman. Their worlds had crashed together while they were out looking for something  beyond what they had at the moment.  They each had failed miserably at their own attempts at holy matrimony and would give up almost anything to find happiness again.

And in the middle of it all was a Little Girl.

A young Man buys his prom date a beautiful corsage.  They go for dinner at a fancy restaurant before the dance.  A successful Man has a high-paying job, a nice house, and a fancy car.  And now, after all the other turmoil had settled in his life, the Man found himself buying a pink Barbie car for the Little Girl as a Christmas gift, both to impress her Mother and to fill the hole left behind by the Little Girl’s first dad.

The battery-powered Barbie car came fully assembled for the most part, just the decorative decals to be added to complete the most-impressive, expensive gift.  Hours were spent that evening obsessively placing the decals to perfectly match the prototype picture of the car on the cardboard container.  The Man and the Woman slept for just a short while that evening, excited by the anticipation of the little girl’s surprised expressions as she first saw the fancy toy.

The next morning, the Man and the Woman hurried downstairs to position the Barbie car front and center, then further arranged the other gifts, and anxiously awaited the Little Girl’s big arrival.

The Little Girl descended the staircase like a princess,  her pillow-matted blonde locks in place , her footed jammies silently taking each step slowly as she awoken to what was the spectacle of Christmas morning.  Her eyes widened and her mouth smiled and her slow pace down the staircase suddenly quickened.

The Little Girl shuffled by the Man and the Woman, and went straight for the $2.99 Teddy Bear sitting on the sofa, squeezing and kissing on it like it was her own little girl.  The Barbie car, like most cars, became dirty and dusty.

That following Spring, with the relationship of the Man and the Woman spiraling downward, a much-needed grocery store trip was planned for the family.  After bickering and bantering with the Woman, the Man carried the Little Girl to the curb of the street where their only car was parked.

As the Man waited on the sidewalk with the Little Girl is his arms, he cursed the Woman’s tardiness under his breath as he impatiently paced about.

“The damned store will be closed before these coupons expire” he thought to himself.

And the Little Girl started giggling.

Her laughter had nothing to do with what the Man was thinking.  Her attention was focused on the little black ants running up and down the large maple tree growing by the family’s parked car.  The giggles laughed out loud as her tiny fingers tried in vain to catch the oh-so-busy ants.

Have a nice day.

3 thoughts on “The Innocence of Children”

  1. What a wonderful simple story. It is so true, adults running around being very busy. The little girl had the right idea. Stop and smell the roses, enjoy the little things life sends you way.

    You have a nice day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this story. It is so true that life is what you make of it. Each morning when you wake up, you can think this is going to be a good day or rats I hate to think of today’s hectic schedule. I’m with smelling the roses.

    Liked by 1 person

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