Note: we are republishing this story amid an ongoing nationwide conversation about race relations in America.
A mother's photo of her daughter and a friend is going viral.
Ayanna Toye Barrows was walking on the shore in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, when a little boy ran over to them and started talking to her daughter.
The two began talking and the boy showed off his shark tooth necklace. After a few minutes, the boy said goodbye and ran away.
Several minutes later, the mother and daughter were surprised to see the boy return, yelling Barrows' daughter's name. She said that when her daughter turned around, she was "greeted by his smile." The boy returned to tell her daughter more about his shark tooth necklace, which he said gave him powers.
Barrows shared her story in a post on the Love What Matters Facebook page, along with a photo of the two new friends:
My daughter and I are in Myrtle Beach taking a sunset walk when this adorable and sweet little boy comes walking right up to her. He shares with her the shark tooth around his neck. He tells her his name and asks her name to which she tells him. They part ways while saying goodbye, walking in the opposite direction. A few minutes later he comes running back, in what seems to be in slow motion, yelling out my daughter's name. She turns around and is greeted by his smile. So they share a few words, mainly about his super cool shark's tooth that apparently gave him powers.
Before they walked, talked and raced, I asked his mother for permission to take this picture and this was the result. No one positioned them, told them to smile and there was absolutely no hesitation on their part at all. When we finished walking and it was time to go they hugged for a long time and exchanged about 20 "goodbyes."
This is a moment that we humans understand as just simply seeing no color lines, no judgement, no race, no hate, no shades. It's just pure....two kids meeting on a sunset walk without a care in the world...all they saw was each other.
This world would be a much better place if we acted like these two kids.
The mother's post quickly spread on Facebook, where is has been shared more than 56,000 times. Readers commented on the heartwarming story on the Facebook post.
"This is more than two children saying hello. This is a connection, a recognition of spirit that we can't understand. I doubt this story is over," one reader commented.
"I usually don't comment, yet this picture struck a chord. Two absolute beautiful children. The innocence of their encounter and the beauty of their world," another user wrote. "A little slice of heaven on Earth right there for sure.... I hope that picture gets printed and put into your daughter's memory box...."
Sources: Love What Matters/Facebook