Young Heart

My wife's parents live in Piedras Negras, Mexico, which is a boarder town with Eagle Pass, TX. We go to Piedras Negras often and average 12 visits per year. On one visit, I had an experience that I would like to share. One Saturday morning I decided to have the truck washed. I invited Sergio one of my wife's nephews to go with me. Sergio was about 5 years old at the time. Sergio and I arrived at the car wash and pulled into the washing area. We got out of the truck waited for the truck to be washed. We stood there looking at the truck when a little boy walked up to me. The little boy looked like he was about 6 or 7 years of age. It was cold that day and he wore a raggedy old sweater and was bear-footed. I have been to Mexico many times and after a while, you tend to ignore poverty even if it is all around you. With out realizing it I had become desensitized to the poverty what is abundant in Mexico. The little boy looked at me and rose up his hand. In his hand, he held a small cardboard box that looked like it was just about to fall apart, and in the box, he had some chewing gum. The little boy asked me if I wanted to buy some chewing gum. I told the little boy that I did not have any change and turned back to look at my truck that was being washed. I felt a tug on my shirt and the little boy raised the little cardboard box again and said that maybe my son might want some chewing gum. He was referring to Sergio my wife's nephew. I told him that I did not have any change and again turned back on him looked at my truck again. After the truck was finished, Sergio and I walked to the cashier to pay for the car wash. Next to the cashier, there was a coke machine and Sergio asked me if I would buy him a soda. The cokes were three pesos. I reached into my pocket and pulled out the loose change in my pocket. I sifted though the mostly American coins and found two Mexican pesos. I told Sergio that I only had two pesos, and that I would buy him a soda later. I then left a tug on my shirt again. I turned around and looked down and there was that little boy that was selling the chewing gum. I thought he was going to ask me again if I would buy some chewing gum, but instead of raising the little cardboard box he reached out his hand and said "Here mister so you can buy your boy a soda." I could not believe it; I was stunned. That little boy was offering me his hard-earned money, to buy Sergio a soda. I told him, thank you very much and to keep his hard-earned money. I gave him the two pesos that I had. I went back to my wife parent's house in a daze. I told my wife about the little boy. We both went back to the car wash and we found the little boy, on the sidewalk, in front of the car wash selling his chewing gum. My wife bought some chewing gum from the little boy, with large bill, and told him to keep the change. I have not been able to stop thinking of the little boy. I hope the struggles of life do not corrupt his wonderful young heart.