Thursday, December 31, 2015

Full of Beans

Last night at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Jukie made some new friends while Andy and I ordered our family's dinner. It was one of those times when I thought Andy had Jukie, and he thought I had him. It turns out that Jukie had himself, and that he was making an executive decision to expedite his eating. 

We found him sitting at a table with another family we had never met. He was smiling broadly, stuffing himself full of their beans and chips. Perhaps I should have apologized even before laughing, but the warm reception from his new friends let me know that Jukie had just made their evening. Jukie has a way of making people's day. 

Our eventual apologies were met with hugs and more laughter. This family clearly enjoyed Jukie's company and repeatedly told us that "he is a blessing." After we returned to our table, the mom appeared at my side with a plate full of sliced oranges. In their short exchange, she had quickly determined Jukie's delight in such an offering. What fast friends, I thought — she already knows the way to Jukie's heart. Andy ran out to our car and grabbed a copy of "Where's Jukie?" for this family who had just lived through an example of our book’s title. 

I'm struck by the way in which Jukie brilliantly busts through social norms and expectations and brings out the best in nearly everyone he encounters. We'd never have met this sweet family had Jukie not cozied up to their warm welcome and delicious food. And I'd love to hear the retelling of this story from the other side.

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