As I signed Miriam out of school the other day, she made sure to say goodbye to the director, Miss Cindy sitting nearby. Suddenly, with great urgency, this 3 and 1/2 year old powerhouse also recounted her weekend adventure to her.
“Bye Miss Cindy! I rode on an elephant and a train and a merry-go-round and I put my feet in the sand and I went on the potty but it was too loud and I cried!”
When Miss Cindy’s head stopped spinning with all this information that was just adorably spewed upon her, she simply replied with a smile and a “Wow!”
That’s all Miriam wanted to hear. Just to be acknowledged. Just to share her thoughts and excitement. The accomplishment of overcoming the fear of the loudly echoing auto-flushing toilet. Well, she didn’t really overcome it. I had to hold her above the toilet as she screamed her head off amidst bikini clad teens and wrinkled NJ grandmas who refuse to give up their time in the sun. The sand was also a new texture for her and we used the “one toe at a time” technique to battle the fear of the unknown. Within minutes she was running barefoot and fancy free. A few minutes more passed and she was removing her pants and underwear. Perhaps she’s been listening in on my late night binge watching of Naked and Afraid?
Does that urgent need to share our excitement translate into our adult lives? What if I just blurted out “Miriam finally made a poop after 3 days! That amoxicillin really constipated her! It was huge too! Like a man poop! But I’m so happy she finally went!” to the next customer that asks me for a Sancerre recommendation.
Or maybe I’ll need to tell the Parkway toll collector about the tube of Pringles I’m secretly eating in the car and how I actually wanted Bugles but the Pringles were closer to the checkout lane and I didn’t want to lose my place. Would he/she reply with a “Wow!” like Miss Cindy or maybe tell me that he/she also loves Pringles and then points to a tube next to their register. We would laugh until the cars behind us started beeping. I would pull away feeling a little more connected with this world.
I have this beautiful friend, Kristin. She made her place in history one night many years ago with simply blurting out what she was thinking. She didn’t need to wait for the conversation to shift towards whatever she was thinking. She just said it and we took it from there. Twenty five years later, I still remember the night Kristin just blurted out “My cat’s fat!”
How much more interesting and open and entertaining our world would be if there were more Kristins. And more Miriams. And a lot of Miss Cindy’s to simply smile and say “wow!”