By: Connor Lenahan
Kids are awesome. When kids are in that fluid, golden age where they are smart enough to think and speak on their own, but young enough to do it without a filter amazing things happen. I’ve had two things happen to me, one a few weeks ago and another only an hour or so, that reaffirm my love of little kids and the innocent craziness they bring into this world.
The earlier of two stories came chile I was on vacation. While I did not get to witness this happen with my own eyes, I would have paid anything to have after hearing the story. On our trip to London we met up with our close family friends the Sprung family. The dad, Robert, has been a friend of my dad’s since they were kids. His wife Yuko is one of the nicest people to have ever lived. Their two daughters, Sophie, 9, and Hannah, 7, are entirely crazy while doubling as the most talented and brilliant young adults I have ever met. For example, Sophie is already a national champion figure skater in France, where she and the family currently live. Hannah is capable of not only recognizing things but expressing ideas in a manner far beyond not just her years, but my own as well. Oh, and did I mention that they are both capable of speaking three languages? English, Japanese (Yuko’s native tongue), and French. I’m a college sophomore who took Spanish for four years and remembers 25 words of it on a good day. Needless to say, this isn’t fair.
While at dinner one evening Robert told me about an observation that Hannah had made on a recent flight from France to New York City. Upon landing the flight attendant made the standard “Thank you for flying… We hope you enjoyed…” announcement in English before reading the same message again in French. Upon the conclusion of the French reading Hannah, who again is seven years old, turned to her father and uttered the now immortal line, “that was French with a New York accent.”
Name me someone else on the planet who would pick up on that. Not only is this brilliant, but it’s the most snarky comment I have heard in quite some time. And it came from someone who still watches Disney Junior on a daily basis. I’m going to be following up on this story in a decade as Hannah graduates from Harvard early with a degree in linguistics. You can lock that down.
The second story was far simpler. Tonight, with nothing else to do, I decided to jog from my room to the newly opened Uniqlo storefront at Faneuil Hall. This was a considerable task, given that it was four miles away and I’d be doing it in my wheelchair. I succeeded, but that isn’t the key. No, the funniest part was when I was maybe three quarters of a mile away towards the end of my run. I was coming downhill and heading into a crosswalk. On my way down I noticed a young boy standing to my right holding a Spiderman action figure. He watched as I raced downhill in the chair. Normally, kids are highly confused about why I use the chair when they clearly see my legs moving. Not this champ. No, instead he made eye contact with me, smiled from ear to ear, and gave me a thumbs up.
Why exactly he decided to give me affirmation is a mystery. He didn’t know what I was doing, nor did he know where I was going. He didn’t know my story. And if he did there are some significant questions to be asked. Yet he felt the urge to give me the universal sign for “You Go Girl” and I couldn’t be happier. I think I excitedly laughed, thanked him, and continued on my quest towards shopping to the tune of “LoveStoned” by Justin Timberlake.
The world can get to be a boring place. Day in and day out we normally do the same thing more or less. It’s the little spices of excitement, especially given to us by wonderful tiny humans, that make me love life anew.
Connor Lenahan (@ConnorLenahan) is a sophomore at Boston University, majoring in journalism.