It’s getting close to Valentine’s Day so I can write a bit about love, can’t I? But this is a different twist.
Earlier this month, I had the delight of a trip to New York City for the first time to celebrate my 50th birthday with a dear girlfriend who is only two weeks younger. I had wanted to go for 24 years and the 2 of us had been plotting for almost 3 years about how we busy mothers might pull this off.
You see, we have referred to ourselves as Tig and Tig 2. It all comes from Tigger…that bouncy friend of Winnie the Pooh from the Hundred Acre Wood. We are the Tiggers in each other’s lives, bouncing in and out through the back door of each other’s home, into each other’s car or cell phone. Always unexpectedly.
Well, when I was in the Big Apple, I decided to go to the New York Public Library at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building to buy a baseball cap for my husband as a souvenir. It was pouring rain and the very nature of the drizzly day kept my eyes to the ground as I sloshed the two blocks from the Library Hotel to the Readers & Writers Shop at the library. When I looked down I began to see bronze pavers appearing every few steps with literary quotations that kept me entertained in the meantime.
While at the shop I had that unfortunate(?) moment when I had to lay my selections down and find a washroom somewhere tucked away in the marble halls. “What a waste of time!” I thought, as I rushed past the little clearance rack outside in the hallway. Soon I returned, and this time I took a minute to poke around on the clearance rack, looking for a memento for my friend of our visit to the city. There I found it! A poster of a rumpled old bear described as the original Pooh. Upon closer examination, I found another poster, also marked down on clearance, of a whole group of well-loved stuffed animals, with the familiar names of Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga and Piglet. Selecting one of those, I trotted back to the cash register, picked up the cap and a package of napkins with a map of the New York City subway and was ready to rush back to the hotel. After all, she would be there soon and we would be catching our cab back to the airport.
Back in the room I opened a brochure I had hastily grabbed and began reading about the Stephen A Schwarzman Library since I had wanted to tour it but did not have the time. There on the lower right corner at the bottom of the brochure I saw something that I could not believe. The original little stuffed animals were actually there in that building, down in the children’s section and I had nearly missed them!
Hastily, I texted my friend. “Where are you? There is a friend who wants to meet you. How soon can you be back at the hotel?” To which she replied, “I’m in the hallway. Please open the door because my arms are full.” As we flew around the room packing our suitcases I kept adding details about how excited I was to take her to the surprise.
A few minutes later we were on our way, tripping along under one umbrella, following the “yellow brick road” the two blocks to the library to see the surprise. As we entered the children’s section and the tiny room where the animals were displayed, I was touched by the quiet awe of the couple in front of us and of my friend as we stood there, a little teary with joy.
Sometimes it is the little things. They make us thankful and cause us to remember just how lavish is God’s love for us in this fallen world.