Monday, September 04, 2006

Just smile and wave

How did I have the world's friendliest baby? I wouldn't say I'm totally anti-social, but I also am not particularly good around strangers. More importantly I've become a bit jaded in my 10 years of urban dwelling. I've taken on the -avoid eye contact look down at your feet and walk fast- mode of travel. I'm not saying I like it, it just happened. In fact, one of the things I think would greatly improve our society is to get rid of this isolating mind set of ignoring our neighbors and focusing only on ourselves. I know this is something I wish I could change, and yet I press on, eyes averted and missing my surroundings. So how do I make my mark on society without making any changes to my ingrained cynical self? I produce Sam.

I love going out with Sam; he is friendly to every passing stranger. He waves at everyone that walks by, every animal that walks by, every object in his view - he waves and he smiles. He does what I wish we all did, and he does it happily and without self-conciousness. I wish it could stay this way for him.

Today we went to the arboretum where they have a Garden Railroad exhibit. Sam loves it. Train tracks set amongst plants and meticulously sculpted houses and bridges based on fairy tales, not that Sam cares about that part. What matters, clearly, are the trains. He stands at the edge of the garden area, waits patiently, and as they come around points and yells, "eeeeeh!" But what I loved the most about his response was his need to share his excitement with everyone who passed by. He would get their attention by either waving or yelling at them (in a friendly way, of course) and then point to the train for them just in case they were not aware of its presence. He loved the trains and wanted to make sure everyone else, even total strangers, saw how great they were.

Our urban living environment has rubbed off on him in one way that drives me crazy though:

This is what Sam does every time he is set down in grass. He lifts his hands and legs so that he has as little contact as possible. And he doesn't move, that would involve touching the horrible, prickly nastiness that is nature. I have tried so hard to get him to like playing in grass and it just doesn't work. Maybe nature was introduced too late. What a failure I am.

He did like playing in the sculptures though, and they were inspired by nature supposedly...

After the arboretum we went out to dinner and sat outside. Sam waved at the people who walked by as well as those at the surrounding tables. I was my cynical, anti-social self, glaring at anyone who dared ignore my beautiful baby's smiles and waves, those who planted their faces in their plates tuning out their surroundings, or maybe just avoiding eye contact being busily pissed off about a couple bringing a toddler to a restaurant. Who is the person who doesn't smile back at this face? Clearly someone very cynical and anti-social.


Blogger Mama D said...

I don't think it's your urban environment causing Sam to hate the grass. A hates it also and we live in a far less urban type area. It a thing. I'm sure they'll both grow out of it.

I would seriously love to see the two of them interact together. We have the worlds cutest babies you know.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous KSL said...

What great pictures! That looks like so much fun. I also have a VERY outgoing child. Everyone is his friend and it is his goal in life to meet every single one of them. He greets to every.single.person at the store with a huge smile and says "HI, I'm firecracker. Whats your name?"

Both of my boys hated grass ,too. They outgrew it and are now making me lovley grass stained clothing.

11:37 PM  
Blogger scraphappymama said...

My daughter is ultra outgoing too. Everytime we go somewhere she tells me she needs to find a friend that's a girl and 3 too. And amazinly enough, she does!!

The nature thing shall pass. Russell would cry every time he touched the prickly grass. Now he cries if we open the door to outside and don't let him go out and play. Give it time:)

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Katie said...

Jack is super social too, which I love, but wonder where he got it from!
Lots of kids aren't too fond of sitting on grass/sand/dirt because of the way it feels (prickly/cold/"different"), it usually passes :)

2:08 AM  
Blogger Alli said...

Haha...I used to joke that Stephen was going to be a Wal-Mart greeter when he grew up. He said hello and goodbye to nearly EVERYONE that passed whenever we went out to eat.

Cute pictures! I need to find soemthing like that to take the boys to.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous PoopyDigs said...

Great pics. You've got yourself a little social butterfly. LOVE IT!

12:04 PM  
Blogger Nikkie said...

I don't know why more strangers just can't play along with the little guy!

My little guy doesn't mind the grass sometimes. When you put him down in it after he's pulled up his fill of grass, he runs off to the nearest sidewalk!

4:33 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Your kid is sooo cute!

4:53 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awww...who could resist an adorable smiling face like that?

Cordy hates grass, too. She'll even go out of her way to not walk on it.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

Trains at an arboretum...very cool! My little man would have loved to share that experience with Sam. Isn't it great that we get to see the world through our children's eyes. Everything is so amazing and new. We parents are extremely lucky for that gift.

12:34 AM  
Blogger GranolaGirl12 said...

I love picture #4, the one with you and Sam. It's worthy if it's own extra large frame somewhere special in your house. How can you say you've failed? What a beautiful, happy Sam you have!

10:39 AM  
Blogger kate said...

if only there were a magic pill that we could all take where we could remember how to smile at people and wave and say hi. what if there was something in the water that just made us friendly--just like we were when we were 2? what would the world be like then?

i cringe every time i think of bb learning that the world is not this way. it kills me.

12:32 PM  

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