as a person without children onnnnccce in a while i get glimpses of the magic of children. i imagine that anyone who is a parent is privy to the wonderment of children on an every moment basis. and as i live in nyc, understandably, parents teach their children not to talk to strangers. indeed this is a city full of not only almost 11 million strangers, in addition, quite a number of strange folk, though not everyone of course, at the risk of exagerating.
that said, when i do have a chance to interact or spend time around children, i am always amazed at how cool and funny they can be.
...as always, it's the very last minute and i'm out trying to find two small somethings as birthday gifts for two brothers that were born just shy of a year apart. i had the privilege of joining their family for a celebratory dinner. as i know almost nothing about the kid world, i figured i like books and books are good. and i thought i'd add a little laughter to this notion and settled upon the idea of buying the two boys comic books.
i reached the comic book section and there are lots and lots of them and i know nothing of this genre really. i'm standing there in all my adulthood ready to panic, trying to talk myself down, 'i can do this?'
this little guy walks into the aisle where i'm standing. i'm hesitant to talk to him as i know kids are not supposed to talk to strangers. i hope it's alright, i ask... 'excuse me. i need to buy some comic books for two brothers, would you have any suggestions?' my little friend looks at me in all earnestnest and asks, 'well, how old are they?' good question, i guess it does matter in the comic book world, and it's funny because i can tell by his facial expression, surety, and tone of his voice that perhaps i've stumbled upon a pro. 'ten and eleven,' i say. he takes a moment and then says, 'well, when i was young...' wrong i know but it just slipped out, i laughed and said 'when you were young?' in a tone that says 'dude you are young.' and he comes back quickly, 'i'm thirteen.' hmmm, i hear what you're saying, i think and compose myself. i say something i can't remember but it seems to remedy this awkward moment.
back at the farm (remember that expression?), back to comic books, so when he was young he read garfield. i ask, 'so you think they'll like garfield?' he reminds me, 'i did when i was ten and eleven.' good enough. and he helps me to choose which two amongst the plenitude of garfields. i'm grateful and i thank him. but i could not help but be tickled by his earnestness. he may have been thirteen, but he looked all of eleven and soooo cute. but i must remember even though he's cute, no way does he want to be treated like a kid at thirteen. i think i managed to save the moment.
back at the house during the birthday celebration i am really surprised at how crazy the boys go over their new garfield comics. i mean they really flip out. turns out they have been wanting their own garfield comics like the kids at their school, but their parents would not allow it. they find garfield too sarcastic and cynical. oops!