the world according to Liam
I remember as a child and teenager hearing, “why are you so eager to grow up? What’s the rush?” Even as a little person, I idealized the future. Certainly, the mystery of the unknown, the culmination of all these little events and years, must be better and offer more than the here and now. I remember thinking on the liberation I would feel as an adult, reveling in some future moment where all that I had grown to acheive or learn in these childhood years would would be recompensed: more playtime, more dessert, and of course, less structure — no one to tell me what to do. Now, here I am years later as an adult understanding the wisdom that the adults of my childhood were attempting to impart: tomorrow will one day become today, so enjoy today before it’s gone.
I’ve come full circle, and am now one of the adults trying to speak this simple truth into my son, Liam. You can see it in his eyes, he senses that he’s missing out on something. He wants to partake of adult conversation and priveleges so desperately. In fact, Mark and I have to remind him fairly regularly that he is merely four, and therefore not our shorter equal. Anyway, I recorded below some of the dialogue I’ve recently had with him, or comments that I’ve overheard him telling to others, to give you a brief glimpse of this child-bodied-adult. You will notice quickly that they all have one thing in common: telling others what to do.
Liam, the sage-like diplomat
(Mark and I were in the car bickering over what constitutes “good” driving.)
Liam: You guys shouldn’t be arguing; I think it’s kind of like boasting.
Liam, the economist
Liam: Burke is really, really rich.
me: What does rich mean?
Liam: It means he has a lot of spider-man shirts.
Liam, the dentist
Liam: We really shouldn’t eat sugar.
Liam: Because all your teeth will fall out.
Liam, the dietitian (part 1&2)
(Tito sits down next to Liam with a coke to drink with dinner.)
Liam: Is that your coke?
Liam: (with a disapproving glance) You know, cokes aren’t really good for you. Your body needs water; it’s a good choice.
(We’re in the car and needing to stop for lunch, but there are very limited options.)
Mark: Oh, there’s a Sonic.
Bethany: OK, let’s just do that.
Liam: Sonic isn’t really good for you, but it’s OK every once in a while.
us: Thank you, Liam.