Around lunchtime the clouds opened up and the sky poured snow.
A sudden blizzard on a Monday afternoon. I pulled on my coat and headed out for a client meeting. In the car I turned on "This American Life" and listened to a show about coincidences and quarters.
A memory came flooding back: The toddler when he was little more than a baby, walking and talking but barely. He'd found a quarter on the living room floor. My husband spotted the coin in his chubby palm, rushed over and grabbed it from him before he could put it in his mouth. The toddler began to squall. My husband scooped him up; I rushed over to console, thinking he'd somehow gotten hurt in the shuffle. Once he calmed down enough to speak, the toddler pointed to the quarter as if it had betrayed him and wailed: "That's daddy's."
I understood then his feelings had gotten hurt; he thought he'd committed some unforgivable theft. His sorrow broke my heart. I thought about those two words for a long time after, and I tried not to think about his words because each time I did they made my heart ache. They make my heart ache even now, to remember his sweet and simple despair. To think of the meanness implied by his assumption, that his daddy would snatch a shiny coin from his palm simply because it was his.
When I left the meeting the flurries had stopped. Snow had gathered in the cracks of the concrete and on patches of grass. The sun shone brightly from one corner of the sky. In the distance, storm clouds lingered like a bruise.
30/365. Image courtesy of Pixabay and used under a Creative Commons license.