“Have you seen Clara?” I approached my daughter’s young friend who was standing a bit lost in the center of the fellowship room at the church building. I had just completed my second circuit through the building looking for my daughter but was never able to find her in the crowds of little kids that were wandering the passages and classrooms. I held up a chocolate cookie, “I wanted to give her one of these gluten-free cookies I found, but I can’t find her anywhere.”
My daughter’s friend shrugged, “She was here,” she mumbled, “but she left. I didn’t really understand why. She said she was looking for you.” The girl pointed down the hallway to the left. “She went that way.”
I looked that direction and sighed, “That’s the way I went. So… she has been walking in circles looking for me while I was walking in circles looking for her?”
The little girl just stared at me, unsure if she was actually supposed to answer.
“Do you know what she needs?” I asked.
The girl glanced from side to side uncomfortably, as if she still wasn’t sure if I was talking to her or simply thinking out loud.
“Uh huh. Okay. Well, thanks.” I pointed to the right. “I’ll go in this direction this time.”
Sure enough, halfway around the circuit a little girl in a pink dress rounded the corner and gave a little hop when she saw me. She ran up and smiled, “I’ve been looking for you!”
“Oh yeah? I was looking for you too.” I held up the cookie I had been holding this whole time. “I found a cookie I thought you would like.”
“Oh? Well, I found this to give to you.” she held up an identical cookie.
“Huh,” I said.
“Huh,” she agreed, looking back and forth between the two chocolate cookies.
We quietly exchanged gifts and walked off, this time together, and in the same direction. I put my arm around her shoulders. “It’s good to finally feel understood by someone, you know?”
“Yes,” she said. “I know exactly what you mean.”