Monday, October 18, 2010

Do I look lonely?

A very strange phenomenon has been occurring lately.  Wherever I go, strange children come and sit with me and engage me in conversation.  Is this some mysterious side-effect of gearing part of my life toward the entertainment of children?  Does something about my aura tell children that I need interaction with them?  Perhaps this has always happened to me and I never really realized it before?

Beats me!  But it is amusing and delightful, to say the least.

A few weeks ago at the zoo, I was sitting at the side of the playground watching my three boys run rampant up the ramps and ladders and then down the slides and poles.  To my surprise, a four year old girl came and sat next to me.  She started telling me about how nice she is and how un-nice her little brother is most of the time.  Her parents were sitting across the playground and I could see them pointing her out to each other and laughing at their daughter's overt friendliness.  Then, the un-nice little brother came and sat on my other side.  He just sat there smiling at me (I'm guessing he was only about 2) as I smiled at him.  Finally, another sister came and sat down when the little brother left my side.  All told, I spent a good 15 minutes just chatting with the children of some totally random zoo-going people.  When I got up to leave, the parents smiled and waved at me with a chuckle and said, "they sure did have a lot to tell you!"

Another example.  A little boy in my son's Sunday School class came up behind me when I was dropping my son off and said, "do you have other kids?"  I told him I did.  Then about 45 seconds later, I feel a little hand on my shoulder as I lean down to hug my son good-bye.  I turned and found this same little boy with a fake spider.  He grinned up at me and said, "you had this real spider on you!"  I was totally surprised that he would just jump into playing with me on the basis of our simple exchange.

I could go on and on with examples, but you get the idea.  I've seen my own children do this.  It is what gives mothers everywhere fits and launches many "don't talk to strangers" speeches.  But the fact of the matter is, if a person is friendly to them, that is the only invitation a child needs to be friends.  Wouldn't it be nice if friendship was always so simple?


  1. Aw, this is sweet. I'm always learning from my little one on a daily basis. And yes, if only friendship stayed as simple as when we were children. ;))

  2. My eight year old is the kind of kid who would come over to visit with you . . . as long as you have a baby or toddler he can play with. He relates to these age groups better than his own. But just watch out! Once he gets started, there's no turning him off. ;)

  3. I guess it's a natural attraction to you as someone who likes children.

    The innocence of kids play a part too, I think, whereas we adults are more suspicious and warming up to starngers is not always easy

  4. I have that problem with adults. Complete strangers will walk up to me and tell me their life story. It is cute when a child does it, but not an adult.

  5. Are you lonely? Funny angle! I have enjoyed my first visit to your blog!

    When my children were younger I found that similar things happened to me, too. If I seemed to the other kids to be a 'nice mother' then they felt compelled to lay claim to me, too!

    My children are no longer in tow as I go about my business (since they are now taller than me with deep manly voices), so I am more easily ignored without those little verifications of my 'niceness'.

    Children, like all folk, seek affirmation. Sometimes, just a smile is all it takes ... and the right response to a fake spider! :P