So the other day I found myself sitting in Hungry Ghost with two little ones. Before getting settled down, the eldest of the two runs to check out what is newly put out for incoming customers looking for an evening treat. I lift the youngest one of the two so that he too is able to see what is available for his liking. I don't do it often but this time I had allowed for them to pick two treats, which normally ends up with two saved treats for breakfast the next day.
I make the order and get the two settled as they jitter for a chocolate croissant and pistachio macaroon. Hands sanitized, napkins out, butts seated. Since it is five in the evening, HG is a tad crowded. We sit at a table where it seems like two different meetings are taking place. I give the youngest the croissant with a cup of milk and the eldest the macaroon with hot chocolate.
Digression: So ..before I continue, allow me to explain that I am a person who dissects, everything...or I try to anyway. Setting, tone, attitude, what is said, what is not said...the whole bit. Digression over...now I continue.
So, being the dissector in the situation, here is where I find things get...interesting.
The youngest of the two loves his cocoa croissants. Don't get in-between the two. In his famished state, he sits on his knees, picks up the croissant, dips it into the milk and chews.
The two meetings at the table begin to get quitter and quitter as this little-one receives stares he is not even a tiny-bit aware of. He dips his pastry into the milk and sinks his teeth into his treat and chews. Now, within this process, he makes the oddest, loudest and confusing noises anyone enjoying a pastry can make.
...allow me to see if I can demonstrate this.
Narrator: So after dipping pastry into milk, the kids takes what looks like a bit but what sounds like...only God knows what...it goes like so
chew, chew, chew, clicks tongue with roof of mouth, chatters teeth three times, swallow
Narrator: He takes another bite
[slurping falling chocolate from pastry] click, click, chew chew, click, chew, swallow,
Narrator: The little one licks his lips and takes a two-second break to then proceed in dunking the pastry into the milk. As the pastry rises from the paper cup, drenched in 2% milk, the kids proceeds...
[licks the pastry] chun, nom, nom, nom, sha, sha, click, click, bluuuuaa, chew, chew, click, lick, cla, cla,...he swallows.
Narrator: There is one piece left of the croissant. He slam dunks what is left of the pastry and continues...
nom nom nom nom nom, click, cla, sheeecla, tap, tap, chew, chew, chew, bluuesha, nom, swallow.......kid looks satisfied. Looks at me and says ..."Can I have another one, please?"
Yes. This is more or less how eating went. I'm sure many do not fancy when people look at them when they eat, but I couldn't help but simultaneously smile and stare at this youngster. He was so carefree it made me wonder why I too am not this carefree. Granted, some people at the table seemed a bit annoyed [they'll get over it], with a couple of others genuinely and sarcastically smiling at this kid asking "Did you enjoy your snack?!"
The lad pretends he doesn't hear the question and shies away, waiting for me to fulfill his request of a second cocoa croissant.
Now, I wanted to write this mini-short-story because as the second little one enjoyed his croissant, I couldn't help but marvel at his relaxed attitude; he was so unaware of the looks others gave him as he enjoyed his pastry simple because he paid no mind to them. The same concept goes to may of us and our paths today. In doing what we enjoy, we are given snares and discouragement. The difference between many of us and my youngster is that the little one paid no mind to the haters; he didn't even notice them. I cannot express how many times I paused, be it for one minute or one week, because I was dissuaded and made-fun-of. My mistake was giving my time of day to those who did not wish me well. It didn't come easy but I soon found out that I had to experience the "shedding process"....in other words, I had to eliminate people from all five of my senses. And I haven't felt this light in a long time.
Some may find this silly, but I don't care. Number three was so intrigued with his pastry he gave no mind to his surroundings....he was enjoying his moment and did not allow the looks of the surrounding grownups to disturb his pastry-one-on-one moment. It's a subtle encounter but a strong message.
I want this story to stand as a small reminder to pursue our aspirations. Now, as adults we can not be carefree in everything we do [let's be real...we have responsibilities] ...but being carefree and unbothered about what others think about us and our goals is a trait we should adopt and keep. Giving them the hand [give it to them mentally now...no one wants a hand palm in their face] and rising to the challenge, reaching for what it is we reach for, should be imperative to us. If you carry zero intention to negatively bother others [and you shouldn't...], but every intention to better yourself the best way possible, then give no mind to the negative looks, glares and sarcastic remarks that tend to murmur in your ears.
...tell them to quiet-down and be untroubled about it. It's time we be insouciant about what others think. Be so unbothered that you become unaware of the negativity.
In the end I walked home hand-in-hand with the two littles whispering to myself, "wow...who would have thought a crucial reminder can come from a kid." A lot can come out of being five.
But I do thank them, this little one in particular, for reminding me how important it is to continue to do what I love and to keep it moving... be it writing on this platform, wearing what others perceive as an odd hairstyle, or simply enjoying a chocolate pastry over milk amongst grown-ups who find the way I chew annoying.
Muchas gracias macho...