If there’s one thing that has truly amazed me about tiny tots, it’s how sociable they are, despite their limited understanding of the world. Jamie, in particular, is especially enthusiastic about making friends.
We live in a condo, and every time we get into the lift, he is always looking around at whoever else happens to be sharing the same space as we are. The moment he succeeds in making eye contact with them, his face breaks into a charming smile and he waits eagerly to see what his new friend will do in response. It does not matter if the other person is an old uncle, a young woman just returning from a long day at work or a family with other children. He offers all of them the same friendly expression. And if there are other little kids around, he sometimes even tries babbling and calling out to them.
It’s so endearing, coming from a boy as young as he is. Even the most straight faced of adults often soften and give in to his tiny gesture of friendship.
Which brings me to wonder why we become so prejudiced as grown ups. Of course, there is the bitter experiences of the past that dictates our behaviour, and sometimes with good reason. But often times, we are more suspicious than we ought to be and tend to view those around us as strangers that ought to remain shut out from our world than prospective friends whom we can engage with and learn from.
I certainly hope Jamie will continue to be as friendly and smiley as he is now, even as he navigates the tougher years of growing up that are ahead of him. But for now, I am thankful for the important reminder that my little companion has nudged me with. We could all do with more friends.