I was in San Francisco last weekend to celebrate the Englishman’s birthday. His oldest daughter lives there while going to University, so we schlepped up to spend a couple of nights and have a nice birthday dinner. We had all three of our kids with us and it was a great visit. It was a little chilly, very crowded, and loads of fun. A wonderful time with my family.
On Saturday we went to the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building. We had lunch and walked for miles. When we were exhausted we hopped on a bus and headed to the hotel. I was sitting next to the Englishman when we saw a woman get on with 3 kids. I offered our seats to the kids but they wanted to stand. The woman, who I assumed was their mother, thanked me.
They were speaking in Spanish and the little boy was right in front of me. He was absolutely gorgeous. He had longish sandy blonde hair with green eyes and a smile that is going to make women soon one day. He was a divine looking boy and I said to his mother he was a beautiful child. She told me she was the babysitter not the mom.
She said he was not only gorgeous, but a really sweet kid. She was so proud of him that it was very touching. Then the boy and me got to talking about his day. They had been to the aquarium and we chatted about turtles and the stuff you could touch in the water. He was open and funny and super smart. He let me know he was 6, and he had a girlfriend.
I was talking to him while I glanced at my own son across the aisle and it was an interesting moment because I could remember when my own son was 6. He was similar to this boy and I cannot believe he is now almost 17. It was one of those moments where as I looked at my teenage son, I suddenly saw him as a little boy and it was odd but wonderful.
The little boy was wearing a necklace he had made and he proudly showed it off. The Englishman was chatting with him also and we both thought he was a great kid. The boy then asked me if I was married to the Englishman. I told him he was my friend and we were not married. He glanced at the Englishman, then turned to me and looked me straight in the eye.
With conviction and seriousness, he cocked his head then said, “Can I get your number?” Now, I understand he was only 6, but let’s be clear, it made my day. We got to our stop and needed to get off the bus so I simply smiled at him and told him that I thought he was fabulous. It was such a sincere and honest moment that I could not stop smiling.
As the Englishman and I gathered up our kids, I heard the little boy shout out, “What about your number?” I turned around and he was staring at me. I walked over, shared a smile with the babysitter, told him my name was Ilana, and said it was a pleasure to have met him. He then let me know his name was Ilan. It was a surprise to learn we shared a name.
Ilan is the male version of Ilana and it turns out his father is an Israeli like me. We both marveled at the fact that we shared a name. I told him we shared a great name and he told me he was happy he met me. I shook his hand, told him to have a great day, and told him I was flattered he asked for my number, but I was visiting and had to go home.
He shook my hand again and I said goodbye. As I walked away I turned around and he yelled “Bye Ilana” to which I shouted back “Bye Ilan!” It was a wonderful exchange and I will remember it always. Children are remarkable human beings and I am proud to have raised mine to be a wonderful young man. Ilan reminded me to keep the faith.
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