Monday, May 23, 2011

Like a kid and his green ball

Have you ever watched kids playing and thought "If only I could be that carefree again!"

Well, my friends, as tempting as that sentiment might be, I really think it's crock.

Were we ever carefree? I think not. In fact, I remember being really bothered as a kid by the implication that my life was sooo simple. As if I didn't have my stresses, my problems, my heartaches too? They seemed important to me then. And "seem" is still about all I've got.

Exhibit A:

My host nephews playing ball this weekend:

Alberto, age two.

Santiago, almost four.

At first, everyone is trying to play together nicely. It doesn't last long.
Berto is a little shy around his older cousin.

And Santi is not only ignoring the rules of soccer (or, as his Dad suggests, playing some form of rugby) but also does not care to share.
Grandma swoops in to defend little Berto. "Santiago you play with one ball over here, and Berto will play with the other."

Santi is unimpressed by the idea.
He wants the green one.

As for Berto, even though he eventually ends up with the soccer ball, which is too heavy for his little feet, he is thrilled with the replacement of Scary Older Cousin for Kindly Old Grandpa.
And then I put down the camera and play with Berto myself, and eventually Santi sees what fun we're having and decides to play nicely himself.

And all is right with the world. Until they try to play with the puzzles.

It's fun to watch them light up when they play, and it's amusing to watch their little faces fall at the loss of a green ball. Children's joys and pains are so beautifully open and honest. But I think underneath, though as adults we dress it up with a lot of fancy words and straight faces, we're all kind of like that. I keep right on laughing when things go my way, crying when the things I'm attached to are taken from me.

In the end, aren't we all silly little boys and girls?

I'm not sorry to have this new set of frustration, laughter, tears, and joy.

I wouldn't go back if I could.

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