Friday, May 19, 2006

Sweet Tears

At the supermarket today I tried to make a little boy laugh by making faces.  But instead he burst into tears.

I was pretty upset too, since this was killer material.  My signature move is puffing up my cheeks like Dizzy Gillespie.  But I was also wriggling my nose, goofy grins.  If this stuff doesn't work I might as well throw in the towel.

I felt bad for the mom who had a kid sitting the shopping cart quietly, playing with a bag of frozen okra - now screaming.  She comforted him, whispering to him softly in Spanish (all I caught was something about el blanco loco.

We made up with a little peek-a-boo (it was a pretty long line.)

I mentioned it to my wife - and she asked me if I puffed up my cheeks.

"Of course," I grinned.  She said little wonder he cried, the cheek thing is freakish.  Also, I've got a few days of stubble going, so I must have looked like a frightened myopic blowfish.

Meanwhile, a few days ago, I was chatting with the mom of one of my son's friends when we picked up our kids from their pre-school.  The two boys were running around.  My son's friend fell hard, landing on his rump, on a rock.  He burst into tears (who could blame him) and his mother scooped him up.

This little boy has an older brother, so he always seemed worldly and grown-up (for a five year old that is.)  My son idolizes his friend a bit because his friend has actually seen the Star Wars movies and plays on the computer himself.  I'd never seen him cry.  He's a great kid - I didn't want to see him in any pain.  But it was nice to see him as a little boy.

At five all boys want to be tough and big and strong.  They want to grow up and they are like little man dolls - posing and posturing.  But they are little boys too.  Sometimes, when they are squeezed just a little the sweetness comes out.

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