Cold Hands and Warm Hearts

It seems strange to say that seeing cold hands brought me joy.

But this winter, the sight of two boys’ cold little hands brought me much happiness.

One day I decided to escort Xiaolin and Shuai to their tae kwon do class on the bus because it was too cold for them to walk.  The two boys, however, did not want me to pay their fare, so they refused to ride on the bus!

Strangers on the street that day were treated to quite an unusual sight: One boy riding a bike with an adult – me– on the back of it and another boy jogging alongside.  It was really cold and neither of the boys were wearing gloves, but both bravely denied being cold even though their faces were bright red.

There is no waiting room at the tae kwon do studio so I had to wait for the boys outside.  Xiaolin urged me to go inside and upstairs to the classroom where it was warmer, but I stayed outside. By the time the class was over,  I was so cold, I had almost lost my voice!

After the lesson, the boys insisted that I ride the bus. To get me to agree, they told me I was too heavy to take on the bike.  And before I could even say anything, they climbed on the bike and rode away.

“I’ll talk to them back at the institution and tell them how bad it is that they left me,” I thought to myself as I climbed on the bus.  But the moment I got off the bus, I heard familiar voices calling, “Auntie!”

It was Xiaolin and Shuai, who were urging me to climb on the bicycle for the remainder of the ride to the institution.  On the way, they told me they had waited 10 minutes for me to arrive.

“You shouldn’t have waited so long,” I told them.  “You could have gone straight back.”

There was no dissuading them. They had been concerned that it was too far from the bus stop to the institution and that I wouldn’t be able to handle the cold.  I fell silent, deeply touched.  Finally, I realized that by insisting I ride the bus and then waiting in the cold for me, the boys were showing how much they cared for my well-being.

I looked down at their hands, reddened by the cold.  Two pairs of little hands – a reminder of the joy you feel when someone cares.