The most inspiring part of my weekend was being tuned in to 4-year old SId and his 9-year old brother Jonah, whom I baby sat in Montreal, while their mom, my friend Christina, shopped with her daughter and my daughter. It was the boys first time being with me alone, so we were all warming up to each other. I attempted to hold Sid’s hand on the busy St. Catherine Street. He looked at me and said, “I can walk by myself. I don’t want to hold your hand.”
Jonah immediately jumped in the conversation and said, “Well, you will hold MY hand.” and took charge of his little brother from that moment on. It was so cute watching them walk together that I could not help but take that photo.
The boys are passionately in love with the Apple Store and I promised to take them there. Somehow, we got lost and walked for almost 30 minutes before we realized we were heading in the wrong direction. Poor Sid looked completely exhausted, as he already had a long morning before that. I suggested that maybe we should go back to meet their mum. Sid said, “But we have to find the Apple Store. It is what we were looking for. Maybe we need to change the directions.”
Life Lesson: Don’t give up. Change directions if things are not going where you want them to go.
We changed direction and found the store by walking back another 40 minutes. The poor child was completely exhausted but as soon as he saw the store, he started to dance in the street and rushed in. They were completely oblivious to everyone around them as they engaged in the games. Sid was the smallest child in the store full of adults but I don’t think he ever noticed anything else except the games!
Life Lesson: When you know what you want, you can recognize it when you see it.
When he was done with playing his games, we sat on the floor of the Apple Store chatting while he ate his chocolate brownie. (Getting that chocolate brownie earlier was another scenario when he made it very clear he wanted ONLY “Chocolate.”)
While we chatted, he asked whether we could go out to buy a drink because he was thirsty. I explained to him that I could not leave Jonah in the store alone because it was not safe.
Sid replied, “He is not alone. There are so many people in the store. Why wouldn’t he be safe?”
I told him that I was responsible for Jonah and I simply could not leave him here on his own.
Sid thought for a moment then looked at me squarely in the eye and said: “So, is it yes or no. Are we going or not going?”
I was taken a bit aback by his bluntness. He certainly does not operate in shades of grey. He knows what he wants and is very clear and seeks the same clarity in others.
“I will check with Jonah and then we will decide.” I replied.
“Why can’t you just decide yes or no. If you say yes, then we will just all go and if you say no, then we stay.” he said quite assertively.
Life Lesson: Take charge and make decisions. Don’t stay in the grey zone.
At that moment, I decided that it was time to go. Jonah had no problem following.
I found myself quite intrigued by this young 4 year old “ball of fire” as him mom describes him. He is full of life, full of humour, starts trouble with his older siblings as often as he hugs him and shows affection to them; he is clear and articulate about what he likes and wants as well as what he doe not like and does not want; he asks questions about everything around him and won’t stop asking until he is somehow satisfied with the answer. I watch him dance when he was happy and not afraid to cry and show his emotions when he was not happy. He lives in the present moment. There is no future and no past.
Looking at the easiness with which Sid lives make me wish that I was clearer about my life. I wish I could make decisions as quickly as Sid does. I wish I did not have to spend so much time always trying to balance things for fear of hurting others or making sure that everyone is involved in decisions that drown my voice and passions. I cannot help but wish that all of us never left that beautiful space of being four, where we can speak what is in our mind and soul because it has not yet been too contaminated with the thoughts and ideas of so many who try to control us in an effort to keep things running smoothly.
Tunein today to that 4-year old spirit you were. StepUp to live life from that space where you can hear the truth in your own voice.