Yesterday, while picking up a cup of coffee in a mall, I saw this precocious little boy of barely 4-5 years old. This little pack of cuddles ran out of the elevator, right into Pizza Hut and insisted to the wait-staff that he’d like to ring the bell. He jumped up and down excitedly until his wish was fulfilled. After a few loud chimes, when he was put down, he gave the waiter a winsome smile and ran to his father to point to the ice-cream man. When his father walked past without paying him a second glance, he rushed out of the mall and onto those toy cars right outside. He didn’t wait to ask his dad or plead. He plonked himself onto the seat, made vroom-vroom noises and started pedaling himself around. Smart kid. Now the father couldn’t possibly leave his kid and go home and neither could he ethically not pay the toy-car man. And so, the little boy got his car-ride.
Kids these days never cease to amaze me. It’s like ever since we got out of one stage of childhood, the new kids took over and completely rewrote the game. They’re sharper, they speak their minds and they know exactly what they want…right down to the toppings on their pizzas. Usually, I’d fret over how quickly kids these days grow up. But when I saw this little boy, I didn’t see him as one who grew up too quick. He had the babyishness most babies today seem to lack. This little chipmunk was good old naughty. He had a throw-your head-back kind of laugh. He ran with a wobble. He was pudgy and rosy to boot. Here was a kid who was indulging in the purest kind of joy there is…that of being impish.
I’d gone to get myself a cup of coffee coz it’s hot, fuzzy happiness in a cup. It calms me and makes me feel that things will improve. But this tiny tot took me back to a time when I was young enough to act naughty and get away with it. I remember mum not letting me run around crowded places so I’d always hold daddy’s hand and he’d let go occasionally and I’d use that to embarrass mom into getting me a chocolate or a book or something. It didn’t matter what the thing was, I didn’t even want it badly. It was just about bothering mom.
This one tiny, easy-to-miss event made me feel fuzzier and happier than a cup of java could. It completely diverted my train of thought to all the peccadilloes I indulged in with my cousins. I was carefree again.
And so, my sweet lovable friend who’s reading this when times are tough, go out for a change of scene. Look around at all the fun moments and smile. And if you’re one of the lucky ones with a kid around, go play a while.