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Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

March 10, 2020

As I was hiking today, I came across a mom and her young son - maybe seven years old. I could tell from 10 yards away that he didn’t speak clearly and that he might be autistic. But when he saw my Virginia sweatshirt, he called out “Virginia!” Then he was off To the races. He told me is aunt and uncle live in Fairfax, his cousin goes to the University of Richmond and they have have a bulldog puppy named Cosmo that loves to chase their cat. He told me he has a dog named Augie who also likes to chase cats. Then he told me about the challenging part of the hike that I was about to experience. The whole “conversation” went on for over five minutes.

After we fist bumped and went our separate directions, I thought what a tremendous gift that young man had given me - he shared his joy with me. And I’ve been smiling ever since. It’s those little things - one - that can change an average day into a wonderful day.


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