A Christmas Wish

Rome's Ancient Colosseum

Rome’s Ancient Colosseum

This past September while standing in a long tourist line to enter Rome’s ancient Colosseum I was mesmerized by a little boy held in his mother’s arms right in front of us.  I had just taken out a banana to maintain my failing strength (tourism is tough!) when I caught sight of the youngster eyeing my banana as I slowly and now very deliberately peeled it with a devilish grin in my own eyes.  The youngster squirmed in his mother’s arms as I teasingly ate the banana while wondering if it would be impolite or taken wrong if I offered the child a bite.  Before I could make up my mind to share (or not) the young mother, alerted to her child’s awakened appetite, cleverly pulled out her own banana to give the child!  As he eagerly grabbed the proffered banana from his mother I mimed my need to have a bite.  He wisely ignored my growing, silent entreaties to share that which I had refused to share only moments before.  We both laughed when he dramatically finished off his snack leaving me looking desperate and famished—a fun moment to pass the time in a long, boring line.  Having broken the ice we introduced ourselves to the young couple. “Where are you from?” we asked.  “Russia,” they replied.  “And you.”  “We’re Americans.”—only a slight hesitation but I could sense for both of us conflicting thoughts, “But you’re the enemy.  You seem so nice.” Continue reading