I like to keep my car clean. Sometimes there’s a water bottle on the front seat or a piece of lint on the armrest, but other that, I try to keep the clutter to a minimum. (In my dreams.)
On Saturday, though, I made an exception and had this great guy taking up some space in the back seat.
Meet my studly 6-year-old brother, Matt. My parents came down to Utah this weekend, and while they spent some time on the slopes, Matt and I had a busy afternoon in Bountiful.
I was 17 when Matt was born, so we haven’t had as much time to spend together as I would like. When I went home for Christmas recently, he said, “I wish you could live with us forever.” Heartbreak.
I miss this little boy every day, so I was thrilled to have him to myself for the afternoon.
We started our outing with a fro-yo stop. (He insisted on this pose.)
Somewhere between holding his hand as we walked through the parking lot and watching him poke his tongue through the empty space between his front teeth, I began making a list of reasons being a kid and, better yet, being with a kid, is so much fun.
When you are a kid …
1. You can put pomegranate, chocolate, peanut butter and mint ice cream in the same cup. You are oblivious to ideal flavor combinations, and somehow you just know that topping that crazy concoction with Skittles and Reese’s Pieces only makes it tastier. (Seriously, friends, it was sugary perfection.)
After we finished out treats (read: Matt ate four or five bites and started asking about the next activity), we headed to the grocery store.
Though far from excited, Matt was willing to indulge my need for bread and some other basics. I made the mistake of listing a few specific items I would be buying, which leads me to No. 2 on my “When you are a kid” list:
2. You trust that people mean exactly what they say. When I told Matt I would be buying bread, milk, paper towels and yogurt, he believed me. When I headed to the produce section for apples, he was quick to call me out. “Hey, those weren’t on the list you told me.”
While this childlike faith can lead to disappointment, I think it’s admirable. What if we all believed what we were promised and held the promisor to it?
Matt’s chiding led me to be efficient in my shopping, and my wallet thanked him.
After surviving our journey through the cereal and soup aisles, we headed to a movie.
If I were a good mother, I would have brought orange slices and whole wheat crackers in my purse for us to snack on. Taking the carefree older sis route, though, I let Matt get a sizable root beer and a massive box of Sour Patch Kids.
Matt thoroughly enjoyed his snack, and he seemed pleased with the movie. I thought the flick was fine — but the company was better.
As we headed back to the car, it was getting cold, so grabbed Matt’s hand and tried to hurry him along. He, however, was eagerly engaged in jumping over every crack in the sidewalk, so we made slow progress, but I just smiled because I realized that “When you are a kid …”
3. Life is good: Everything is a game. Stress is a foreign concept. Questions are always allowed.
Matt helped me realize that adults waste an awful lot of time searching for happiness in the wrong places. All we really need to do is remember what we knew when we were kids: Happiness is right in front of us — right there in the cracks in the sidewalk.