From the Mouths of Babes …

“Hi!” said a tiny voice on my left as I walked past a kindergarten, absorbed in my own little world of thought as is my habit. There would always be generous amounts of shouting and other playground noises here at this time of day, so I didn’t pay it much attention.

“Hey, mister!”

Now wait, the “mister” part was new. Might the voice be addressing me? I turned slowly and glanced over, eyes first as to not provoke anyone out to pounce on forty-five year old men looking at kindergarten kids.

“Hey, mister!” it said again, and I saw it belonged to a three year old girl who just then jumped off her swing and came running in my direction.

“Hi,” I said back, not wanting to seem rude.

“Mister, I’ve got to tell you something,” she blurted, huffing and puffing a bit after the dash across the grass. She hugged the iron fence with her fingers firmly clutching the diagonal wire mesh, and looked me straight in the eye with a dead serious expression on her face while her short breath subsided to normal.

“Oh?” I mused, slightly puzzled, “What’s that, then?”

The amused smile on my face must have been totally inappropriate for the occasion, because her expression tightened as if to indicate that this was no laughing matter. I opted to shut up and listen to whatever deep, cosmological truth the mind of this child was preparing to share with me.

“My dad has the exact same shirt as you!” she said.

“Oh … Oh, does he now?” I responded, slightly taken aback. I wasn’t quite sure what to say to that.

“Yes, he does. I think it’s nice. I like the blue. Yours is nice, too.”

“Well, thanks. I like it also.”

“You’re welcome. I got to go play. Bye!”


And with that, and a whiff of turbulent air in her wake, she was gone.

So, in short, I think the Universe just communicated to me by way of a three year old girl that I picked the right shirt, which was on sale.

In retrospect it was probably a good idea to buy two.

Just a brief exercise in narrative writing, based on a real life event this morning. The translation from Norwegian is a loose approximation because, in fact, kids in Norway don’t say “mister” or anything resembling it, and frankly neither do grownups, but it flows better in English that way. That, and I really do like this shirt.


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