One of the most challenging things about childhood is seeing it, as an adult, through their young eyes. Yet, every now and then, along comes the most amazing moment that simply opens the door to their world.
Today, I was lucky to experience one of those moments. Walking through the mall at my adult, focused and purposed speed to accomplish the tasks I needed to complete before dinner, I was approaching the threshhold of one of these arcade style stores that caters to children and teens with nothing better to do.
Bolting down and across the aisle towards me was a young lady, perhaps no more than two, with the attendant baby fat of a cherub and the prim dress of a princess. No, not towards me. She was yelling at the top of her little lungs, “Make way, I’m coming through.” She was running as fast as she possibly could with her short legs and ill fitting shoes that make toddling obvious and that cannot, in any way, contribute to the evolution of the human species. Still, the entire scene stopped me in my tracks.
Here I was pursuing the end of task and the goal of accomplishment. And, this child melted away any pretense that my world mattered at all. She was headed for the carousel. The horses and the dragons and the carts in which to ride them. Nothing could get in her way. She was in command of her world.
Such a smile came to me that has not left today.
I once had a child like this and, forever, in my heart, I will always stop and believe that she still exists.