In 1985, when I lived in Jonesboro, a little neighbor boy came to visit me as I was working in my back yard. As we talked, he looked up at two airplanes flying overhead and asked, "Why are there big planes and little planes?" I looked up. One plane was on a landing approach, and the other was way up in the sky, bypassing our airport. I explained that they were actually the same size, but he would have none of that. His eyes didn't lie; one was gigantic, and one was tiny. His world was very simple.
In 1995, I was talking with my oldest son, who was seven at the time. We had been discussing the piano and I suggested he should learn how to play. He told me, "Oh! I already know how to play the piano." Since I hadn't spent a nickel on piano lessons, I was intrigued and asked him for more. He said, "To play the piano, you just press the keys." He was right. You just press the keys. It was an amazing revelation.
So, what happens to us as we age? I think we become too "smart" for our own good, and we stop looking at life in simple terms. To the sophisticated, a brutal murderer is a deeply-troubled, traumatized and abused man-child struggling to express his subconscious psychological rage. A kid would be a bit more truthful: "He's an evil man who must be punished." Thankfully, kids don't go in for the word games we adults have learned to play so well.
The other night, my youngest son came in to say goodnight. When I hugged him and said he smelled nice, he said, "I just washed with Head & Shoulders." I told him that was shampoo, and he said, "Oh. I thought it was for your head and your shoulders, so I used it there."
Children are the only truly honest souls on this side of the Pearly Gates. Stay young as long as you can and ignore the silly labels we adults put on sociopaths and shampoo. Be a kid again
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.