Give–Take–Take–Give

We knocked on the door last time, and rang the bell, and no one answered. That time, we left the bread in a bag on the doorstep and hoped for the best.

This time, the door opened and we were ushered in. Molasses bread in a bag, pear/applesauce in a jar with a red ribbon. I walked through to the back of the room, where Nataliya beckoned me and John Ronan shouted out his greetings like he always does, excited to find new friends.

So thin, so changed from her summer self, Nataliya and I talked about her journey from life and health, to the doorstep of death, and how she’s making her way back again. I didn’t want to stay long. John Ronan is not a soft spoken little fellow, and though he was being good, playing with little Nikolai in the next room, I knew that our presence would be fun only for a little while.

So we stayed for that little while.

John Ronan didn’t want to leave, but I have experience enough in that department. But somehow he had convinced Nikolai that he was hungry and needed a snack. “We’re heading straight home, and we have food there,” I told him. But Nataliya and her mom jumped on this opportunity to give to the givers.

“Please, let us give him a little something.”

“Please, mama, I’m hungry.”

“We’re heading straight home, you really don’t need a snack…” That’s what I said. You know the routine… I wanted to be the giver, not the getter.

(I still have so much to learn!)

Eventually, two tangerines were handed over, and a stack of crackers for my little guy. Several of which fell onto the kitchen floor and broke into a thousand pieces just as we were leaving. Thank goodness for good humor.

Well, we made quite an impression, I’m sure.

And it’s good to remember, to let others give when they have the chance.

It’s not always about us…