When I was finishing up my master’s degree I got a summer job working at the city day care program. We took care of kids age 6 to 13 and we just hung out in a rec center, went on field trips, and watched movies. There was a super cute little 6 year old boy there that summer. It really bothers me that I can’t remember his name. But every day, his dad would come pick him up and as they were walking out the door the little boy would say “See you tomorrow!”
Except it didn’t sound like that. He had a little speech impediment so it came out more like “See you to-my-o!”.
I thought it was absolutely ADORABLE! So, now it’s kind of my thing. I really only do it around Josh because he’s the only one who knows the story (well until now).
Last night, Josh was doing his normal thing, putting the dogs up in their beds for the night and I did my normal thing, “see you to-my-o!”
But for some reason a thought popped in my head at that moment. Well, a few thoughts…
Why can’t I remember that sweet boy’s name?
How old would that little boy be today? (I’m guessing about 12)
What is he like now?
Did he ever grow out of that speech impediment?
All of this led to one main question:
What would he think if he knew that 6 years later, I am still using a word that was inspired by him?
I often worry that I am not making a big enough impact on those around me. (not enough–that’s a topic for another day) But thinking about that little boy last night made me realize that WE NEVER EVER KNOW how we impact those around us. Even as children, before we’ve realized that there is a purpose to our life other than playing all day.
That little boy was just doing his thing. Saying bye to his day care people. In his own cute way. Maybe it’s a thing in his family. Maybe they sit around the Thanksgiving table and remind him about how he used to say his R’s funny. But he will likely never know that one of those day care workers thought his word was so adorable that she still uses it 6 years later.
I expect that I will continue to use it, even with my own children when that day comes. A whole family of “to-my-o” sayers. And my children will remember being tucked in to bed at night by their mother who used to kiss their sweet cheeks and say “see you to-my-o”. And it will be a sweet memory. All from one little boy whose name I can’t remember.