Ruby had finished her breakfast first and was beginning to get tired of us adults actually chewing our food. I knew that she loved riding around on my chair so I offered her a spin through the lobby of the hotel. She climbed up on my stomach, the softest seat in the house, and off we went. I put my arm around her so that she was safely and firmly seated. She wasn't going to get hurt on my watch.
The hotel was full of people in town for the various celebrations, primarily Pride. A woman watched us swoop by. She had that lovely smile that adults get when watching children have fun, part whimsy, part envy, all pleased. On one of our pass-bys, she said, 'It looks like she's quite secure in your arm.' I said, 'Whatever else, I want her to be safe.'
Then something wonderful happened. The woman said, quite seriously, 'You've spent your whole life making sure people are safe haven't you.' I came to a sudden halt and said, 'Pardon me?' She said, 'I know who you are, I know what you do.' Then she talked about the effect that some of my work had had on her and on the field.
I drove away and Ruby said, 'That was a nice lady ...' there hung a pause in the air. 'And ...' I said. She said, 'You should never talk to strangers.'
I gave her a hug and said 'That's right kiddo, that's right.'
Afterwards, whenever I thought of our brief meeting, our little conversation, I got tears in my eyes. I figure if that's how I'll be remembered. I'm really OK with that.