by Gina Romero
We arrived at the toy store on Dimond.
Cars filled the parking lot.
The big box was stocked with extra holiday merchandise.
A huge display of Toy Story 3 products met us at the door.
We navigated past talking Dora dolls.
Stuff. We walked by aisle after aisle of stuff.
We stopped at the princess row.
It was with lined with sparkly dresses and magic wands.
I was overwhelmed by the excess.
My brow furled.
I felt my shoulders get tense.
I despised the hurried shoppers.
In that moment, an angel caught my eye.
She had blue eyes and blonde hair.
The red shield with white letters rested below her.
The shield of salvation placed at the feet of an angel.
It is a shield often seen and heard during the holidays.
The ringing sounds remind us to slow down and to give.
We were shopping for a four-year-old girl.
I wondered what she was doing right now.
Was our gift the only one she would receive for Christmas?
Frustration turned to gratitude.
I watched my vibrant daughter shop for a stranger.
My shoulders relaxed and I smiled down at her.
I am thankful for my children.
I am thankful for my husband, family and friends.
I am thankful to give.