Nice People Everywhere

Today Neeps and I walked to the grocery store to get something or other, and on our way back we fell into step with a Hispanic woman who was also walking home from the store, and we had a lovely conversations predicated on my child's friendliness.

This is not the first such interaction he as lead me into (not even on that outing), with his grinning and his waving and his general perfection, and I feel certain it will not be the last.  And every time we say goodbye to the person who has struck up a conversation with us, I say to my son, "See?  There are nice people everywhere."

I want him to grow up believing that.  I want him to be of the opinion that most people, given the chance, are just friends you haven't met yet, and that friendly conversations with strangers, wherein you treat one another like real, actual people and not just statistics, should be the norm.

It's funny how raising a child is sort of... bringing me back to my best self.  I feel like we can get so run down, so tired of trying all the time and getting nothing back, and so we get lazy and even shut down because what does it matter anymore?  We're not doing any active harm, we're just... not engaging.  But knowing he's watching me, learning from me and how I handle life... well, to be horribly cliched about it, it's forcing me to be the change I wish to see in the world.  It's revitalizing me, reminding me that there is goodness in the world and it's up to me to acknowledge and increase and contribute to it, not just withdraw when I get too overwhelmed with badness.  I have to give him this sort of running head-start before he launches into the world for his solo-flight, so that maybe he'll be able to go longer than I did before he gets sad and broken.  Maybe he'll never get sad and broken at all.  Maybe he'll just always be one of those nice, friendly people that smile and say hello, soaring gloriously on into the sunset.

I sure hope so.

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