Aaron works there a lot and we tag along whenever possible.
Seattle has become a kind of home away from home for us really.
We've gotten to know the city well.
We have our favorite spots.
With every visit we see something new.
Because it's July, and we "Northwesterners" are experiencing a warmer than usual summer, the kids and I decided to ride the ferry from Seattle to Bremerton.
It was idyllic.
The Olympic Peninsula with it's jagged peaks jutting from the the middle of sea up to sky seemed close enough to touch as the ferry passed through the green and blue of Puget Sound leaving the famous city skyline with it's iconic Needle shrinking behind us.
Even the jellyfish were floating lazily towards their watery rooftop to blob around in the sunlit rays.
It was one of those days that stood still long enough for me to take it all in.
The kids were just, being kids.
They splashed in the Bremerton fountains, munched on Belgian fries, and had the "Turner Joy" battleship practically to themselves.
On our way back to the Emerald City we were all smiles, sun kissed, and perfectly exhausted.
The ferry snugged it's way into the harbor for the evening and being the last ship to leave for the day, it was full of passengers.
As we filed off the ship and onto "dry land" (like a herd of cattle), I noticed a ferry employee guiding a cart full of empty boxes into an elevator and watched as her tower of cardboard tumbled off the cart as she tried to hold the elevator door open with one leg. The line of people in front and behind us seemed to be pressing all around, so I held onto Zibby and made our way down the stairs.
When I turned around to check on the other two, I noticed AbbySue.
She was politely pushing her way back up the stairs, through the line, and rushed over to the woman at the elevator. She bent down and started helping get the load back on the cart, then made her way back to us without a word.
But I noticed.
It was one of those moments that makes a parent feel like just maybe, despite all of the mistakes and blunders we make, something "good" is staying with them.
AbbySue was "in the moment".
I'm thankful that her head was up, that she was a part of the world around her.. engaged..without a handheld device, connecting to another person in need, face to face.
And so later that night, when I was making my way from "Italian Family Pizza" (favorite New York style in Seattle), back to the hotel, navigating the city streets with an abnormally large box of hot food, and a homeless man, with his shirt wide open, dirt filled fingernails, and matted hair, asked me,
"Hey there! Can I have a piece?"
Kindness overtook the impulse to judge and my mind raced back to the mental picture of my daughter, on her knees helping a person in need.
I stopped in my tracks, set my "state of Washington" size pizza box on the sidewalk, opened it up, and pulled out some dinner for a hungry man.
He looked at me and smiled like a person who felt, at least for that moment, cared for.
It was the same smile the woman with the boxes shared with AbbySue.
They say, "What goes around comes around."
On that sunny day in Seattle,
the wheel was kindness and we decided to go along for the ride.