A few weeks ago, Gianna came with me to the Auto Parts store to get some new windshield wipers for our vehicle. As we entered the store I heard a voice greet us, but saw no one. As I quickly scanned the store for the source of the voice, I was surprised when it came right up behind me. I was caught off guard for two reasons. One: I would have sworn the voice I heard was a woman's. It was not. Two: It was obvious that the man who came to our aid, had been severely burned.
Anyone with a small child knows that absolutely anything could come out of their mouths at this point, and I held my breath as to what was about to erupt from my Gianna.
I could tell by her quizzical expression that she couldn't make sense of the high-pitched, raspy voice coming from someone with facial hair. She was able to discretely ask me if he was a man? I quickly nodded and then as she opened her mouth to start with her questions, the man turned around and looked at her and said, "I was burned in a house fire, that's why I look like this and I don't have any hands or ears." God bless him. He would soon discover what a huge door he opened.
Side note: Gianna is already obsessed with fire, like scared of it. (Like so scared of it that she FLIPPPED OUT when we made s'mores at a friend's house recently, thinking we were going to "cost" on fire (catch) if we ingested a marshmallow that had been burned.)
Anyway - this very gracious man who had been burned, was SO kind to Gianna and answered every single question she had. He told her to never play with matches or fire and she promised him with every ounce of her being. He asked how old she was and was shocked when she said "five" because he said he had never been asked such good questions before. I thanked him for being so wonderful with Gianna and asked what his name was so we could pray for him - knowing that Gianna was going to be talking about him for weeks.
He told us his name was Kevin, but everyone called him "Fingers" as was monogrammed on his shirt. Gianna gasped, "But that's so mean for people to call you that, because you don't have fingers." He looked at her in her eyes and said, "Oh no, honey, people can't really make fun of you if you laugh at yourself." Her eyes grew as her mind tried to process it all. And then he said, "Everyone around here calls me Fingers, but you know what my boss calls me?.......Knuckles!" Gianna managed to leak a chuckle from her mouth, but I could tell she didn't want to laugh.
I felt blessed we walked into that store that day. What a beautiful life lesson Gianna took away that day. She hasn't stopped talking about him these last few weeks and bugs me to drop by the store to see him. I'm pretty sure he'll be remembering Gianna for a good long while, too.
And he was great at his job, too. Turns out the expensive wipers really do work better. :)
Lucky for me there was a sale that day.