Yesterday, as Marc stood talking with a neighbor and the neighbor’s daughter, I think he half expected Bill Cosby to walk out and play host to the dialogue going on between them. It turns out that our neighbors are getting married soon, and while Marc and I fully did not expect to be invited — we’ve only known them for the few months since they moved in — our neighbor’s daughter (she’s 6 years old) obviously had different thoughts on the matter.
Neighbor’s Daughter: Oh, oh, oh! (Tugging neighbor’s arm.) Are Marc and Karen invited to the wedding?
Marc and Neighbor stand awkwardly, as adults do, trying to figure out the most PC/polite/diplomatic way to address her question.
Marc: Oh, sweetie. You see, we would love to be there, but we are actually going to be very, very busy next weekend. (Kudos to Marc for his quick thinking.) But remember that we will be there in spirit, and we’ll be thinking about you guys the whole day.
Neighbor’s Daughter seems to be okay with this. Until…
Neighbor: And, honey, remember that we’ve only invited about 25 people.
Neighbor’s Daughter: No we didn’t! We invited 100 people. Because there are 100 gifts that we bought to give to all of the people we invited!
I know that my time is coming. In a few years, I’m sure that I’ll be involved in plenty of those conversations where I look around to find the nearest rock to crawl under when little Bean says something completely off — and probably completely honest — to someone with whom we’re speaking. I love it that children don’t always understand the nuances of adult conversations…most of all I love it because they haven’t learned yet to be ruled completely by the edit button that continually runs in most of our minds. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for children to freely blurt out rude or hurtful comments, but I think that sometimes we could all take a little cue from their truthfulness.