I’ve found life with children an ever increasingly source of learning things about the human condition. My children, of course, constantly show me how the brain at it’s most simple levels can absorb information and make it something new, as well as, you know, just showing me how little ones actually develop into new people.
But. . . what I’ve really begun finding even more interesting, is what I’ve learned about other people due to having children constantly accompanying me. The old adage regarding using children as a way to pick up chicks is one of the first things that I’ve found to be true in this new life as a father.
But it comes down to something even more simple than that. Children appear to be somewhat of a social lubricant, similar, in many ways, to alcohol, considering how people’s speech patterns begin to change drastically in the presence of these little humans. But even more than that. . . when I walk around without my children nearby, I find it very difficult to lock eyes with someone in order to exchange simple pleasantries. I know, it’s kinda silly. . . but I feel really odd walking past someone pretending that they aren’t there. Yet, this seems to be the way of Americans today. We try our hardest to avoid any form of interactions with strangers, mostly because we don’t really know how they are going to respond. I know that I face similar issues within myself. Issues that I try to battle in an attempt to keep my children from learning such anti-social behavior.
However, when my children are around, that all changes quickly. People seem to have no shame in staring at my children as they go about doing their adorable things. They will giggle and comment unabashedly, making sure that I know that my kids are cute. I can’t blame these people, my kids are darned cute.
But it seems so weird to me that this is the case with our society today. Why is it that the presence of children causes us to open up our feelings about our current situation? We may see someone we find cute who just so happens to be an adult, and we would more than likely avert our eyes in the situation could become aware that we are looking. The majority of people would keep their feelings silent about such a thing. Not so with kids though. . . we’ll openly insist our friends check out the funny things the kid near us is doing, not caring who sees us reacting.
But when it’s an actual adult. . . we act much more like my children do when a stranger says “Hi!”. If our mom’s legs were still available, I’m sure we’d all still hide behind them in an attempt to avoid the uncomfortable situation of conversing with someone new.
So, I guess what that really means is. . .we’re not all that different from children ourselves in our social behaviors. . . except, of course, if there’s a bunch of adults congregating in an area, all of whom we don’t know, we’re much less likely to jump in the middle of them and ask if they want to be friends. . . unless we’ve got a few drinks in us, that is.
Also. . . I love the picture for this post. It’s barely related to the content, but I didn’t think I had highlighted it yet, and felt it was about time.
Have a good one!