Hiya Mister

I was lingering over a coffee at a MacDonalds while my wife went ahead for some groceries in the mall. Two tables over a young Father was enjoying a snack with his 4 year-old boy.

On the other side of the room was a one-year old with his longish hair neatly parted. I made a comment about how the little guy looked like a businessman in miniature. His Mom smiled. The 4 year-old piped up "I just got a haircut, Mister." He was all cow-licks and pointy fly-aways. His Dad jokingly said "Can't do anything like that with my Little Guy".

The conversation had begun. Little Guy showed me all his new toys from the restaurant. Lots of direct eye contact, confidence and simple courtesy.

An Oriental woman with her Little Guy took up another table. He also had his toy. Child number one piped up to Child number two "Will you be my friend?" Answer: "yeah OK".

Just that simple with well-adjusted children. The Oriental Mother was enjoying this.

For me the whole thing was a tremendous relief. Young children confident enough to talk to a stranger and to gain from it. And certainly I had no sinister intentions (the boogey-man syndrome; fearful, debilitating).

So often when I attempt to engage I get a blank look, silence and awkwardness. The parent apparently wishes that I would crawl into a hole. What will become of these children incommunicado?

No problem however with happy young Mister Cow-licks! I wish him well. I congratulate Dad.


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