He touches their heart, Zachary does, like few other things in their life. He’s a little boy, and there is something about him they don’t get to see so often anymore.
He represents innocence.
Choices, dreams, the beginning of a life.
There’s something else, too. It’s his smile and the way he looks into their eyes. He reaches out to touch their hand without a speck of judgement. He doesn’t seem to notice that they’re missing teeth, a shower, and a lot of their dignity. If he does, it doesn’t change anything about the way he loves them. It’s something they don’t get to feel so often anymore.
He pretends to be a tiger; they pretend to be afraid. They remember a time when they were small–when life was different than it is now.
He gives them a gift of happiness, and a little heart thump they haven’t felt for awhile. One of them reaches into his pocket. He finds a crumpled dollar and hands it to the little boy who gives him that smile in return.
Several nights later the boy and his mama take a trip to Target. The dollar goes with them–now tucked securely into Zachary’s pocket. Just inside the door he spots an airplane, and there is not a second of hesitation. He knows this is what he wants.
It doesn’t matter a bit that the airplane is not in perfect condition. It might have nicks in the paint and be broken into two pieces, but it’s an airplane and his daddy can fix it. His confidence convicts me.