This kid, let’s call him Jimmy, at about maybe 7 or 8 months used to stand on this little storage bin for no apparent reason.
It's one of those tiny bins, about the size of a shoebox. So when Jimmy got a little older, he tried to stand on it but the bin kept tipping to whichever side he would step on first.
So Jimmy got off, pushed the bin onto its side and moved it around, flipped it in the opposite direction and knocked on it a couple times, and pushed it back into place.
To my surprise, the bin no longer tipped under the weight and Jimmy spent the next few hours stepping on and off the bin without issues.
By the time Jimmy had his first birthday, he was in the habit of pushing chairs around the room.
One day, he pushed a chair directly into a high chair with locking wheels on it.
First, he tried to move the high chair. Then he sat down behind the first chair and pulled it toward him, little scoot by little scoot. After a second I realized he wasn’t pulling it straight back, but at a very deliberate angle.
After a minute or so of doing this, he hopped to his feet and pushed the first chair past the high chair and into a wall. Satisfied to have made his destination, he inspected the chair’s new location before going back to retrieve another chair to join to the first one.
Needless to say I was impressed. You know I don’t have kids and find them weird more than anything, but every once in a while one will do something that really blows me away.
I thought of how many adults in that same situation either would have not realized that the high chair was the obstacle, or pitched a fit about the chair not moving, or given up- stomping away angry at the chairs, or worse than that, just kept pushing and pushing with no progress.
This kid was smarter than most adults I know.
Definitely smarter than me.
I recently arrived at the conclusion of something that really, I had concluded years ago but for whatever reason refused to believe or follow through on.
I realized that someone I loved and cared about could only say one of three things: a slight exaggeration, a huge exaggeration, and complete lie.
It’s immensely difficult if not impossible to maintain a relationship, or even a conversation with someone who lies about everything.
And yet, there I was pushing, pushing my chair with no progress. Hoping that if I kept being nice about it or trying to find ways to encourage honesty then it would happen.
Whatever fear or insecurity or concern that you may have that’s keeping you from being who you really are, your honest and true self, it doesn’t matter to me. I love people for who they are.
Unless they are a liar. It’s hard to love them.
It’s devastating to arrive at this conclusion. It leaves me wondering about everything else ever said or done with this person. But I think back to one of my favorite high school English teachers who once said, “Disillusionment is a good thing. The illusion is bad, being free of it is good.”
Oh, how we disagreed back then, but now… now.
The next best step for me is to embrace this information. I've spent years denying it, and it's getting me nowhere. If I don't learn it now, and act on, then what am I waiting for?
What am I doing?
So little Jimmy on those fat little turkey legs pushing around chairs- and doing a darn good job of it -reminds us all to be strong in our work, watch for obstacles, be smart about how we overcome them, and avoid hardwood floors if you have children.
Vanity – Mechanical Emotion (f/ Morris Day)
I’m sorry, I can’t not say it… BOOM
Metallica – Enter Sandman
Jaheim – Ain’t Leavin Without You