I love children. Everyone who knows me knows this. Kids on the street, kids I know…whatever. I love watching what they do…how they interact…listening to what they say. It’s magical. It’s always honest…real. They’re always clear. While I don’t have children of my own, I do have the great luxury of knowing many people who do. I try to take advantage of that as often as possible…and I say luxury because it’s pretty awesome to have them for a few hours and then hand them back to their parents. 🙂
So…last Friday, I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with my friend Phoebe and her two beautiful sons, Finnegan and Django, in Brooklyn. It’s always amazing how much you can fit into a few hours (quite frankly, I’m not sure how parents keep kids occupied all day long!). Phoebe and I spent about seventeen minutes (err, maybe seconds) catching up but the bulk of my time was spent listening intently to Finnegan’s stories of the day’s tennis lessons, real and imaginary friends, nodding frequently, and expressing “Really!” with the reassuring nod from Finnegan. We ate some fruit…Finn showed me his knife skills cutting up a strawberry…talking about the sauces he might consider making. (He’s quite the chef…which is only logical considering his foodie parents.) He then showed off his rainbow striped umbrella…which, I’ll admit, I raised an eyebrow to his mother. We then did a little yoga in the front room. Finn showed me his awesome tree pose and his downdog. I did a headstand (Finn was unimpressed.) Finn showed me his frog pose…which seemed a bit more active than I was used to as he jumped around the living room.
We then headed upstairs where he showed me his awesome bedroom which he claimed he liked very much. After a few moments of playing the musical instruments strewn about, Finn hauled out a very large box of paper….as his little brother, Django, ate crayons. Mom, after scooping the tangerine Crayola from Django’s mouth (who wouldn’t eat that, right?), gave us some scissors (rounded points, of course) to use and we both started cutting out a variety of items including ‘books’ and paper snowflakes and the like. Finn cut some paper…pulled out some markers and drew some circles and slash and handed it to me. Without hesitation, he exclaimed it was a ‘book.’ Looking at it I said I thought it looked very much like an owl…he studied it a bit and turned to me and seemed to agree. I said that if it was OK with him, I would take it home and hang it on my fridge. He was happy with that and the smile on his face confirmed it. I then told him that every morning when I woke up I would walk into the kitchen and look at the owl and shout ‘FINN’…and if he was quiet and listened, he would be able to hear me. He laughed.
The owl hangs on my refrigerator…and every morning, since last Friday, I walk into the kitchen to make coffee…I look over at this beautiful little ‘book’ (a.k.a. owl) and quietly say…FINN!
Phoebe texted me today…her text read….”Every so often Finn stops and listens and then says: ‘I think I can hear Dennis calling me.'”
The lesson is pretty simple.
Be quiet. Listen. And you’ll hear.