In which we discuss books, food, what we want to be when we grow up, fast shoes, and being a kid.
My girlfriend and I are afraid of growing up. We discuss this fear as we study in the library, eat brunch at our favorite spot, drive around aimlessly in my car, attend UNC basketball games (ACC Champs, baby), and lay wide awake in bed at night, trying desperately to get a few hours of sleep before our busy days start up again. We talk about it constantly, not because we want to be constantly reminded of this fear, but because we are actively working to figure out new ways to stay young (mentally and emotionally) in this world that is so-frequently demanding that we grow up, get jobs, be ‘real people,’ and sacrifice our youth in the name of progress.
I, for one, stand by Kanye’s belief that five-year-olds have it best in life and that one should aspire to be a “38-year-old 8-year-old,” at least when it comes to the way they behave and exude creativity and see the world. I also stand by my girlfriend’s belief that children have the best perspective on life and see people in the best light.
Most of all, I look up to my parents who – in spite of having to deal with four pain-in-the-ass children for over 22 years now – are the most fun, goofy, childish, intelligent, inspiring parents I could ever imagine. They are, after all, just kids – the same kids they once were when they met at ages 19 and 20; the same kids who made up dances to Prince in college (ones they still bust out today). It sounds odd, but I aspire to be the kids my parents exist as now. They are, indeed, 50-year-old five-year-olds.
So, when my girlfriend told me her little brother was coming to visit us at school, I immediately asked if it would be okay to interview him. Instead of saying yes, she simply said, “AWWWW” and told me I had to do it.
Obviously a three-and-a-half year-old has nothing to do with twenty years, but I figured I’d pick a child’s brain with twenty questions. Of course, as with all things related to children, things didn’t go as planned, and I didn’t end up asking him all twenty questions I had written down. But, instead, as with all things related to children, I ended up with something entirely better: an interview in four parts where we talk about all of the good things that encompass childhood and its wonder.
Little Milo made me think, made me reminisce, made me tired, made me laugh, and made me so inspired. I encourage everyone to talk to a kid in order to get some perspective on how to function, not simply as an adult, but also as a plain ol’ human being.
The Part Where We Blew Bubbles
Milo: Bubbles are so much fun!
Morgan: Playing with bubbles is one of my favorite things to do! How old are you, Milo?
Milo: (runs to catch bubbles I just blew) I caught it! Wait… Where’d my bubbles go?
Morgan: They popped!
Milo: I popped it on my hand.
Morgan: Yeah! How old are you, buddy?
Milo: Three and a half. I’m almost four.
Morgan: How old do you think I am, buddy?
Milo: Umm… I don’t know.
Morgan: Take a guess.
Morgan: Four! No. I’m nineteen years old.
Milo: Oh. Know how I open this? (hands me water bottle) Press the button! (he pushes the button for me and the straw pops out)
Morgan: Whoa! It opens so fast!
Milo: Yeah, it’s really cool.
Morgan: Do you have a favorite book?
Morgan: What is it?
Milo: Little Blue Truck.
Morgan: What’s that about?
Morgan: What is that book about?
Milo: There are cars and they do things. (mom walks out front door) Mama, are we going?
Mama: Yes we are. We’re gonna go for a walk!
Milo: But is Morgan coming?
Mama: Yes, she is!
Milo: Okay. C’mon Morgan, we gotta go for a walk! You gotta put on some shoes!
The Part Where We Played “You Chase Me”
Milo: Come on, chase me, Morgan!
Morgan: Buddy, I’m tired! (we had been playing this game for fifteen minutes, running in circles around the house) What do you want to be when you grow up?
Milo: I wanna be a worker who fixes houses.
Morgan: Do you have a toolkit?
Milo: Yeah I got one at home. But I can’t use it ‘til I’m bigger ‘cus it’s dangerous.
Morgan: Oh, I see. What should I be when I grow up?
Milo: (giggles) I don’t know! What do you wanna be?
Morgan: Good point. Well, what are you really good at?
Milo: Uhh… running. Cus I got my fast shoes on.
Morgan: Your fast shoes?
Milo: Yeah these are my fast shoes. (points to his tiny brown sneakers) But I also have other fast shoes.
Morgan: Maybe you’re just a fast boy!
Milo: No, I just have fast shoes.
Morgan: Okay, buddy.
Milo: Morgan, chase me!
Morgan: (sighs) Okay buddy.
The Part Where We Went Hiking
Milo: I wanna be the leader! (runs out front)
Morgan: Wait, buddy, come look at this! (brings him to the opening of the Forest Theater)
Morgan: Cool, huh?
Milo: So cool! (runs around the opening, by the stairs, and around the stone walls)
Morgan: Do you know how to write your name, buddy?
Milo: (thinks) No.
Morgan: Want me to write it for you?
Morgan: (writes his name in the dirt) M-I-L-O. Milo!
Milo: (stares at the words for a moment) WHOA!!! My name! Mama! Morgan wrote my name!!!
Mama: Whoa, cool! What do you say, Milo?
Milo: Thank you, Morgan! Oooh goody goody good!!!
The Part Where We Ate at The Root Cellar for the Second Time All Weekend
Milo: (pointing to the display of candy) Look at all that chocolate!
Morgan: Yeah I know. I wish I could eat it all!
Milo: (giggles) No, Morgan! Candy is only for special occasions! (calls over to his mom) Mama, Morgan said she wants to eat all of the candy over there right now!
Morgan: Okay, fine, rat me out!
Morgan: (I lead him over to our table) What’s your favorite food, buddy?
Milo: Uhh… I don’t know.
Morgan: It’s tough to pick, right?
Milo: Yeah. I gotta go back home tomorrow.
Morgan: I know. I’m sad!
Milo: Yeah. Are you gonna miss me, Morgan?
Morgan: Of course! Are you gonna miss me?
Morgan: (smiles like a goofball)