The knock at the door this evening was full of confidence and purpose, the sort you don’t ignore.
When the door was opened, there stood a boy of about 10. His shoulders squared, his posture perfect. He was wearing a Boy Scout uniform with all the important emblems of achievement. He introduced himself with a precious earnestness, immediately connecting himself to the young man of about the same age who mows the lawn as if to establish credibility. His pitch was well-rehearsed. His business was selling popcorn. In the event popcorn wasn’t desired, he’d gratefully take a donation.
He’d come to the wrong house at the wrong time.
I could neither order popcorn nor make a donation. I went outside and shook his hand as a way to convey a more important message than the one I had to give. I wanted him to know he was taken seriously, that I was proud of him for his courage to go door-to-door, and that if I could, I would have gladly turned over cash for his good cause. Unfortunately, all I could do was thank him for stopping, and speak the truth that I couldn’t help out now.
With disappointment he graciously thanked me and turned to leave. With a heavy heart I walked back into the house and closed the door.
With tears I write. There have been hard moments on this narrow journey. This one is one of them.