It has been awhile since I have been in the throes of hanging out with a small human. After voting and enjoying my chicken biscuit, I got to hang out with my great-nephew. Taylor is five and “a very smart boy”. His words exactly and it isn’t a lie at all. He is bright, inquisitive and as his father warned me, there is no off button. However, Taylor told me that he doesn’t have an off button because he isn’t a robot, but he can turn himself off if he wants to. See….he is brilliant.
I opted for a trip to the zoo because who doesn’t love the zoo? It was a gorgeous fall day and his excitement was contagious. He rattled off the places that he wanted to visit. He grinned at the elephants, made animal noises, beat his chest like a gorilla, and was fascinated by the naked, mole rats. I thought they were a little creepy, but looking at them through his eyes, I began to see them a little differently.
About an hour into our adventure, he started complaining about how tired he was, asking when we were going to leave, and on our way to the car used a phrase I haven’t heard in years, “are we there yet?”. I laughed at it all. Once in the car, he clutched his new toy that I purchased in the gift shop, and promptly drifted off to sleep. I guess he used his off button after all.
The rest of the day was spent ogling over Bryce’s abandoned LEGO sets and spreading them throughout the living room. He begged to take them home and, of course, I let him. He left with three bags and I am sure that his parents are loving me. I was reminded of the curiosity and openness that children hold. The intensity and thirst for learning and the silliness that they love to share. He reminded me that life is really very simple and the ability to stay present is only complicated if you make it so. The feel of his small hand in mine and his contagious grin was just the perfect way to spend the day.