Sometimes what I need to say seems to obvious. One of the things I am still learning is to say it anyway.
I am a deeply fortunate person. I have a family I love, a cheerful disposition and there are moments in my day which are eternal, where I am breathless with the glory of the world. I do not feel grateful because there is an obligation or that it is expected. I feel grateful because it is a natural state and so profoundly mixed with what I understand of happiness that I cannot seperate it out.
So I say to my sons "What goes around..." and they answer "comes around" and they know that I mean that the large and small generosity and acts of kindness that others show cannot be repaid, but only transmitted.
My oldest boy biked off to see his good friend home and got lost on the way back. It was getting dark and everything seemed strange and threatening to him. He did not dare talk to the big, tough-looking teenagers he saw in the park. Fear and embarassment gripped him and held him back from finding help until tears came, until Rosanna came. I have never met Rosanna and I probably will never find her, but she put him back on the right road and guided him home.
Thankyou Rosanna, for sending him home. I was very scared too. May you be helped in all your journeys.
I have laid upon oldest boy a debt of honour. "Someday", I said "you will find someone lost and afraid when you are a big, perhaps tough-looking, teenager. Then you will remember Rosanna and a scared ten-year old." So much of what we say to children fades, but I hope that that will remain.
I do not know you and perhaps I never will. I am writing this out into the strange, busy echo-chamber of the Internet. Wherever you are, I hope that you will always be guided home. If some day a lanky great guy helps you out, it may be that my son remembers Rosanna.