My son Kevin was a brash kid wanting to grow up like all other kids in the neighborhood. He was jealous of their carefree, happy-go-lucky spirit doing whatever they pleased with none to restrain. He wished to go as they did dirty in the mud, soak himself in the rain, chase butterflies, play hide and seek with the natives and many more. He was sulking with a long face.
I asked him why. He answered sheepishly, “Mom, I envy all the kids in the neighborhood. When they could get dirty, chase butter flies, play in the rain and get wet without being reprimanded by their moms, why should I not? I want to fly a kite, too, so that birds could elbow with my kite up there in the sky. And if my kite won’t work, I would lubricate its wings like what Dad is doing with his motorcycle every time it did not work”.
I could only smile at his innocence and saintly demeanor. I lovingly pulled him in a tight embrace, let him sit on my lap and told him in a hush tone, “Of course you can baby, but you are very young to get yourself muddy, and your playmates may push you hard you can’t get up so easily. And butterflies could fly as fast before you get near them, isn’t it? And playing in the rain could make you fall sick and you wouldn't like to have a prick by the doctor, am I right?" He nodded with a naive look in his eyes.
“One thing more”, I added cheerfully, “could you hold on the reins of your kite? You are hardly five and very likely you may fly with your kite? You are slender, my darling. They are older, aren’t they?”
He ran out but came back in a trice with all the kids in tow. With a smile, he asked his playmates to tell their ages. The kids candidly lifted their tiny hands and showed their fingers to signify two, three or four.
Kevin proudly pulled himself up and showing simultaneously his hand in a gesture of five, said “Mom, could I do it now as I am the oldest?” I in turn, gave him a tight embrace.