Little Eyes

sitting under a tree

In the summer of 2006 my wife’s IT position was being phased out. The Army Corp had made a decision to contract the position instead of having a full time employee.

For a while we were a tad worried. Luckily another job opened. It was a different position but for her just as rewarding.

The job involved a transfer and by fall we had moved away to the tiny town of North Bonneville, Washington.

The area was beautiful. Mountains, rivers and lots of snow and wildlife. It was common to see deer walking through the center of town.

The following summer my oldest turned five and my youngest three. My oldest was developing a ‘me first’ attitude at the time and doing a really good job of it.

But my youngest was a little different. Unlike her sister she was an observer with a strong gift of recognizing the people around her. In a way she’s me but in a much better way.


We were in the neighboring town of Stevenson. It was the tourist town of the area where ice cream, fancy restaurants and souvenirs could be found on every corner. We made our way to the town center in hopes of burning off some energy.

My oldest was taking full advantage of the situation while my youngest had other ideas.

We came across an artist displaying her paintings and a flower vender sharing her beautiful collection. My attention was drawn to my oldest who was on the verge of climbing the town’s tallest tree when suddenly my youngest tugged at my hand.

 She has always been a soft spoken person and back then her voice was a lot softer. We found a bench where I sat and listened. She whispered in my ear and pointed.

A teenage girl hid under a shaded tree. Her knees curled up to her chin. Her eyes sad and far away. People walked past as if she were invisible and I wondered if that was what she wanted.

My youngest pulled me to the flower vender and asked if she could have one. She picked out her favorite and told me to stay. I did as asked and watched.

She patted the girl on the knee and patiently waited for her to look up. When their eyes met my youngest smiled and held the flower to her.

With the flower resting in the girls hand my youngest reached out for a hug. After they embraced my youngest said something that made the sad girl smile.

With a wave goodbye my youngest ran back to me. The teenage girl held the flower close, her eyes a little brighter. I never asked what she said. It was none of my business.

Minutes later my youngest spotted her sister and ran after her. Turns out the tree wasn’t worth the effort.

What does this have to do with the craft of writing? I don’t know but sometimes a memory is good enough.

Daughter 2




52 thoughts on “Little Eyes

    1. Thank you for that. She is my lovely girl. You know, I truly believe the world is full of good people. It seems like all we’re given is the bad news. It would be nice if it was turned around, wouldn’t it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was really lucky to see this play out. Her sister is my high maintenance girl. I could have easily been paying attention to her. Speaking of writing, she is starting to develop her writer’s voice.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Bran, what what wonderful daughters! Both of them, albeit the youngest! That was an extraordinary, precocious display of compassion. I love how your oldest wants to tackle the tallest tree in town. What ambitions and bravery. And I love your attitude of allowing them to each be true to herself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m struck by the beauty and compassion of this story. Your daughter is a kind and precious soul, the type of person we should all have in our lives. I’ll carry this one all day. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Staci, you’re the best. Thank you so much. That really means a lot.

      She has that special gift of recognizing when someone is hurting. She is always doing the right thing. I’ve learned so much from her.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Julie!

    I’m really happy you enjoyed this. Thank you.

    You know, funny you should ask. I brought this up recently and she doesn’t remember it. This happened during the summer but I can’t remember what month. She turned three in June so I’m not surprised she doesn’t remember it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is a touching story Bryan – who knows whether the young woman had troubled thoughts, or her mind was a blank, but the kindness of a stranger, and a young one at that, momentarily chased away her melancholy with such a simple act.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This memory should be written down. The lesson in it is pure, innocent love. Love shared for no other reason than an innocent little heart noticing sadness around her. The children will lead us and I believe your daughter has. What a beautiful soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think back to how easy it would have been for me to pull her back and tell her to go play with her sister. For some reason I watched and allowed her to lead.

    You are correct. They will lead us to all the right places. We just need to step back and let it happen.

    Thank you for your comments. I’m happy you enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. She wrote some short stories a few years back and asked me to be her beta reader. Her protagonist was a caring and likable person. If she goes in this direction I can already see the types of stories she’ll write.

    Of all the crazy things I remember this is my favorite. It was her idea. A little three year old deciding something had to be done. I’m happy for myself that I had the good sense to stand back and let it happen.


  8. It’s funny, deep down I was not surprised. I could tell from the early beginning she saw things a little different then the rest. I really hope that young girl worked out her troubles and if my girl pushed her in that direction it was all worth it. Thanks, Rene.

    Liked by 1 person

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