Lessons from a 2-year-old

As he just turned 2, Wardie's language is just exploding and he's like the mayor--saying hi to EVERY person he sees no matter where we are.  No, really.  I mean everyone.  No one is immune.  The toddler, the grandma, the angsty teenager, the grumpy old man. 

But, it doesn't stop there.  He says hi to people that I (even though I hate to admit it) would probably never consider talking to.  Worse yet, I would probably go out of my way to avoid them.  People who don't look "safe" or "healthy" or "good" in my eyes.  And, I've made this oh-so-insightful determination in a split second, mostly without even thinking or knowing anything at all about the person.

But not Wardie.  He gives them a big grin and raises his little hand in a wave and says, "hi" in his sweet sing-song voice.  You know the funny thing?  Most of the people I would normally walk by quickly with my head down turn right to him and answer "hi" back.

Now, I don't plan on letting him run around making friends with any stranger he sees on the street.  But, what real harm is there in saying hi?  When did we become so scared of others and/or so judgemental that we can't even look people in the eye?  So what if that person isn't "good"--are we more likely to be hurt by them?  Or does it just move us out of our comfort zone more than we're comfortable with?  And who determines the level of "good-ness" anyway? 

When I saw his little face today full of joy just in saying "hi" to someone, it almost made me tear up.  It warms my soul when I see how pure his little heart is. 

As a parent, we're given so many responsibilities in making decisions for our children.  Some believe that success is molding our littles into who they should become.  For me, I hope that Wardie just becomes more of himself because clearly, he's doing just fine.

Perhaps we all could learn something from him.


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