On Friday the 6th, Sophie and I were running errands. One of our stops was Sam’s Club in Palm Desert. While I was there I decided to fill up the Taurus with gas.
When I got back in the car it wouldn’t start.
It was hot and sticky humid so I immediately began asking the drivers at the other pumps if anyone had jumper cables. I figured the battery had been drained somehow.
A family in a Suburban was about to help me out, when out of nowhere 2 young men in a diesel crew cab truck with a small U-Haul trailer in tow, parked right next to me and asked if they could help.
“Our truck has 2 batteries in it. I’m sure we can help out,” the man in the passenger side said as he jumped out and popped his hood.
Awesome, I thought.
We’ll be out of here in no time I assured Sophie. She winks at me. She’s not worried about it.
About 45 minutes later the 2 guys, as it turns out they are brothers who are in the process of moving, were still trying to get the Taurus started. Sophie had been hanging out, switching between hanging out inside of the car and out next to the gas pumps. One of the brothers, the younger of the two, asked Sophie if she wanted to wait inside of the air-conditioned truck while we worked on the car. Sophie politely declined, deciding to stay alongside her daddy.
A short while later, Sophie walked back into the Taurus again and waved me over. She motioned for me to come in closer indicating that she wanted to whisper something to me.
“I think we should give them a Journey Journal,” she whispered close to my ear.
What a great idea!
In the back seat on the floor were a handful of our Empower Me Journals that Tammy and I publish.
The younger brother, Sean, had mentioned to Sophie that he had a niece who had also just started Kindergarten.
“He can give it to his niece,” Sophie suggested.
I had Sophie hand Sean two Empower Me Journals, the one for 2nd/3rd graders and one of our original ones for 5th grade and up.
Sean was very appreciative probably as appreciative as I was for all the time they had just spent trying to help us out.
The car never did start. The brothers helped me push it out of the way and gave me a friend’s number to call to get it fixed.
After they left, I told Sophie how proud of her I was for her thoughtfulness and the kindness that she displayed in offering the brothers some journals.
Sophie smiled, looked up at me, and using her little hand to block the sun from her eyes she said matter-of-factly, “You know me dad. I’m always thinking of, you know, being good to people.”
But she wasn’t done making me proud.
I made sure the car was locked and grabbed her hand as we walked across the scorching lot towards the Sam’s Club warehouse. It would be 3 hours before Tammy would be out of her classroom and be able to come scoop us up, so I figured I would take my time shopping at Sam’s Club with my best friend enjoying samples.
I looked down at Sophie and saw beads of sweat on her nose and forehead. We were halfway between the Sam’s gas station and the warehouse.
I love hanging out with my best friend. I enjoy our conversations. I love the way she expresses herself and the way she listens to others when they speak, taking it all in.
“Well,” I began, “if I’m going to get stranded with anybody...”
But Sophie finished my sentence for me, “It might as well be me, dad. It might as well be me.”