Mexican waiters in colorful sombreros visit her table. They sing. Parents sing. Every able-bodied patron sings. I sing. And for a moment in time we are eight years old again.

I’m in a Mexican restaurant. I’ve been driving. I’m tired. I’m here to enjoy cold beer and something salty.

Earlier, I tried visiting the joint up the road. The place has allegedly good barbecue. I left after three seconds. They had a band that only knew two volume levels: loud, and nuclear holocaust.

So I’m here.

Behind my booth are children. It’s a birthday party. There are at least fifteen. They sit around a long table which is mounding with gifts. They holler and laugh.

A few wear pointy hats. I didn’t know kids wore pointy hats anymore.

My waitress brings my beer, and I overhear all the Top-40 hits of childhood happening behind me.

“Gross, you eat boogers?”

“I know you are, but what am I?”

“My dad could beat up your dad.”

“COOTIES!”

How have we come this far as a civilization, and still not eradicated cooties?

Then, parents hush kids. Children’s voices run quiet. A mother walks to the door and looks through the glass.

“Here she comes,” the woman says to her group. “Get ready.”

There is a pregnant pause. I am holding my beer with both hands, watching the door.

The door opens.

Children scream “Happy Birthday!” loud enough to break stained glass. Then, applause.

The birthday girl is dressed like a princess. She has a diamond tiara, a pink dress with sequins. She has Down syndrome.

Her father helps her to the table, holding her arms. The girl sits and covers her face. She’s blushing.

“YOU GUYS!” she says.

Her smile is bright enough to tear the cotton-picking world in half.

Mexican waiters in colorful sombreros visit her table. They sing. Parents sing. Every able-bodied patron sings. I sing. And for a moment in time we are eight years old again.

Princess Pink opens gifts, using both hands. The wrapping paper doesn’t stand a chance.

“Tell her what gift you gave her,” the princess’ father says to a freckled girl. “She has trouble with her eyes, sweetie.”

“I got you a LEGO set,” Freckles says.

“THANKYOUSOMUCHILOVELEGOS!”

A small boy approaches. He hands the princess a small box. Her Majesty opens it in under 2 nanoseconds.

“It’s a mood ring,” the boy says. “It sorta tells how you’re feeling.”

“A RING? ARE YOU ASKING ME TO MARRY YOU!? BECAUSE, YES, I WILL MARRY YOU!”

Another girl hands the princess a package. The princess unwraps it and stares at it.

“It’s a book I made you,” the girl explains. “It’s about all our adventures together.”

“I LOVE BOOKS! THANK YOU!”

I wish you could see the hug they share.

I finish my beer. I order chicken fajitas. They are bland. When I am through eating, the kid-party is still underway.

I pay my tab at the register. The cashier who rings me up doesn’t speak a lick of English. But it doesn’t matter, she’s doing the same thing I’m doing. Smiling. We smile at each other.

And for the life of me, I wish I had some sort of gift to give the little princess.

But all I have are words.

Happy birthday, Princess.

22 comments

  1. CaroG87 - June 6, 2018 9:41 am

    Happy birthday indeed ……. I hope she never forgets such a day when she received love outpoured and running over.

    Reply
  2. John - June 6, 2018 10:02 am

    Your words are your gift Sean, thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  3. Glenda H - June 6, 2018 11:19 am

    Dang ya, oughta take a rope… You have the ability to put me into tears in three minutes, guess you’re doing your part for the economy, kleenex sales most likely have skyrocketed since you started publishing your thoughts. What I’m trying to say is “THANKS” buddy!!!

    Reply
  4. Ann - June 6, 2018 12:42 pm

    Words. Happy words. Best gift ever. Thank you for the gift you give us every day.

    Reply
  5. Sue Cronkite - June 6, 2018 1:52 pm

    Fantabulous!!!!!!!

    Reply
  6. Pat - June 6, 2018 2:05 pm

    Sweet!

    Reply
  7. Dianne - June 6, 2018 2:21 pm

    Wonderful story today. Made my day, and you weren’t supposed to eat at the “joint” up the road, because God intended for you to witness this Pink Princess and her birthday party, and then you were to share it with all of your readers. Thank you!!

    Reply
  8. Shirley Brown - June 6, 2018 2:26 pm

    You never fail to make me smile, cry, laugh, grin with no end and most of all you make me happy. Thank you Sean for always writing from your heart.

    Reply
  9. Charlu Kent - June 6, 2018 2:44 pm

    Happy Happy Happy 🎂 Princess 👸

    Reply
  10. Jackie - June 6, 2018 2:52 pm

    You do have a gift! And you give it every time you put words on paper. Thank you!

    Reply
  11. Marty from Alabama - June 6, 2018 2:53 pm

    You stinker. You always give us something to think about which usually brings on the waterfall. I’ve always said that tears were given us to wash our souls and you have done your share of “soul washing.”
    Thank You.

    Reply
  12. Linda Chapman - June 6, 2018 2:56 pm

    Your gift of Words was perfect! Thank you!

    Reply
  13. Nancy - June 6, 2018 3:06 pm

    I guess we should always carry a gift in case we run into a birthday princess.
    Thanks, Sean.

    Reply
  14. Edna B. - June 6, 2018 3:59 pm

    They are right. Words can be a beautiful gift. What a lovely story. The innocence of childhood is just beautiful. Thank you. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  15. Judy Broussard - June 6, 2018 4:06 pm

    Sean I wish that I could properly express my feelings about how you make my day. I look forward to your posting every day. Thanks

    Reply
  16. Donna - June 6, 2018 4:18 pm

    LOVE this story SO MUCH!!! ThankGosh for over loud band down the way so you could party with a Princess!

    Reply
  17. C.E. HARBIN - June 6, 2018 8:19 pm

    I have the biggest smile on my face. Thank you!

    Reply
  18. theholtgirls - June 6, 2018 8:19 pm

    Princess Pink has parents who are made to feel like royalty because of your words, and your smiles. Thank you for the reminder that we can spread noisy-loud love or we can spread nuclear-holocaust-loudness that drives people away. Oh, Lord, help me be loving!

    Reply
  19. Lynda F. - June 6, 2018 9:19 pm

    My heart is in a puddle on the floor, completely melted. If everyone in the world was like the princess, what a wonderful world it would be. My my, Sean, you do have a way with words.

    Reply
  20. Jack Darnell - June 7, 2018 3:31 am

    SWEET!

    Reply
  21. John - June 7, 2018 5:19 am

    That’s why I carry red foam noses with me wherever I go. And often light sticks. My wife says I shouldn’t intrude on family gatherings. I don’t stay long and haven’t been thrown out of one yet. It’s all about love and smiles.

    Reply
  22. Col. David Gilhart - June 7, 2018 11:20 pm

    Wonderful, Recommended by Pumpkin!

    Reply

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