“We find a delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“To make other people laugh is no great feat so long as one does not mind whether they are laughing at our wit or at us ourselves.” Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Every Thursday morning, I have the pleasure of opening up Poulsbo’s Historic Maritime Museum to acquaint visitors with Poulsbo’s history of logging and fishing. One particular Thursday morning a gentleman stopped by to ask if it was OK to have groups of boys and girls from the Sons’ of Norway Summer Program visit our museum. “Of course!” was my response… little did I know what I was letting myself in for!
As the morning grew to afternoon, suddenly a line of 16 little male bodies appeared as they romped and bounced down the sidewalk in as close to single file as young boys can possibly do at their age. As they entered the museum, their teacher announced “Now, DON’T touch ANYTHING!”
Heck, kids have to have some fun and mischief so I instructed them on how to pump the fog horn so they could alert the ships to the danger of nearby land. There is nothing like an ear blasting sound to excite the kids. One after another child worked at pumping the horn to make it roar! I considered taking out my hearing aids.
Additionally, we have a ship’s bell at the “Captain’s Wheel” so I encouraged the boys to ring the bell too. While the commotion was taking place one little boy walked up to me asking “How tall are you? You sure ARE tall!” After my answer, he hit me with the next killer question… “How OLD are you?” When I responded, the young man shrieked, “You SURE ARE TALL for being THAT old!”
Ok, I have white hair, or some might call it “blond” but age is in the eyes of the beholder, as I sure don’t feel old! Evidently, the young man disagreed with my thinking.
My friends laughed with me about my experience, then shared some of their tales. One friend from my high school days discussed colors with her three year old grandson. The color, yellow, came up and my friend’s grandson replied, “Like your teeth!” After my friend picked herself off the ground from embarrassment and laughter, she decided she might need a whitening agent for her teeth after all!
One day another friend was quietly enjoying lunch at his favorite restaurant when a mother and her two young children sat at the table next to him. The one child, a young toddler, sat in a high chair, while the other sibling sat a long side. The toddler made eye contact with my friend, and then the ESP kicked in as my friend hiccupped! The toddler hiccupped in response, so the two seemed to communicate through continued hiccups, then the older sibling asked, “May I join in, in your conversation?” So the three, two children and an older man, hiccupped in response to one another while the mother laughed so hard tears streamed down her face.
Children bring joy to our lives… OK, and some craziness!