Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hanging Out at the Mall

After a weekend full of errands and cleaning, we all needed to get out of the house on Sunday afternoon. So we went to a nearby mall that has a nice play area for the kids, and let them loose.

It’s amazing to me how easily kids make friends. Within 2 minutes, Sammy and another boy were sliding down the slide, hanging onto each other so they’d tumble off the end in a tangle of arms and legs. They’d laugh and laugh (even though it looked like it hurt) and run up the slide to do it again. Then the other kid got the brilliant idea to go down the slide head-first, on his back. It was a small-ish slide, but very slippery so he shot off the end pretty quickly and his head skidded about a foot across the carpet. No surprise, Sammy decided to do the same thing. The look on his face when he hit the bottom was a look of “Ow, that hurt” and I was expecting tears – his normal response. Nope, after a split second he laughed through his almost-tears, got up, and ran around to the ladder for another round.

Then the two boys played monsters. The other boy chased Sammy around the play area, and then they lost track of each other. Sammy came up to me and asked me where “the good guy” was, just before spotting him on his own. The next time they went around, Sammy giggled as he said, “He’s not a good guy, he’s a bad guy!” I told Sammy he should ask the other boy what his name was.

After “the good guy” left, I asked Sammy what his new friend’s name was. “I don’t know,” he answered, unconcerned. Just like that, he’d forgotten all about his new friend. That’s probably just as well, since they’ll probably never see each other again.

But really, can you imagine making friends like that as an adult? It would be like going shopping, and seeing someone around my age, going up to her and saying, “That shirt would look great on you!” We’d walk around the store, giggling as we chatted and helped each other pick out clothes, and then we’d leave and go home, having never exchanged phone numbers or even names. What a trip that would be!

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