What happens when you share everyone’s joy?

It was a cold rainy day in Brooklyn yesterday and I was seated in a crowded Shake Shack enjoying my vanilla milkshake when a family of three occupied a nearby table. I was so occupied in my thoughts and the hum of the busy restaurant that I failed to immediately notice them. So imagine my surprise when I looked up to find the most adorable seven year old celebrating her birthday with her mother.

She was covered in pink from head to toe with big floppy bunny ears to complete her look. And she had a smile so contagious you couldn’t help but grin too. I’m still fascinated by that moment and all the hope and joy it carried. There was a palpable feeling of gratitude in her mother’s eyes and she was trying her best to capture it by taking as many photos as she could. And then something happened that would make this annual celebration a life long memory.

A cute 5 year old girl walked towards their table groaning under the weight of nearly fifty tissues. She dumped all of them in front of her sister and giggled with excitement, “Here.” Their mother looked concerned for a split second but that hesitation quickly gave way to pride as she hugged her tightly and said, “Thanks, sweetheart. We didn’t need ALL of them!”

Their light and laughter filled the room, and reminded me that the things that truly matter, often smile at you.