Noses and little people

I have two little cuties in my life. This 2 1/2 -year-old and 4-year-old go to my church, and my mom and I often spend some time with them when their mom goes to appointments or just needs an hour to herself. Most of the time they’re pretty adorable. Sometimes they’re stinkers.

Things they’ve said recently:

4-year-old girl, E, saw my nose piercing for the first time just before Christmas.

“Ooh, what’s that?” she says in hushed tones, pointing to the spot on her own nose that mirrors the stud on mine.

“I got my nose pierced, E,” I said. She looked confused, so I continued. “You know, like an ear piercing but on your nose.”

Her face cleared, and she grinned. “That’s silly,” she said. “Noses can’t hear anything.”

A, 2 1/2-year-old boy, likes to read books, as does E. So last week we all sat on the sofa and read books together. I’ve realized as I read them aloud again that the books I read when I was young were sometimes the sweet or cute stories but most often a little sarcastic. Most of this goes right over their heads.

A likes to stop me at random points and point to someone on the page with something he’s decided about them. “That guy is mad because the bunny wouldn’t give him his toys. And he’s going to run away.”

It doesn’t usually have anything to do with the story. It must have some connection, but I’ll never know what it is. I’m not sure he actually listens to the words, but he sits still and listens. Other than when he got up in the middle of a story to take off his sweatshirt because he got “schweaty.”

My mom saw A and E at church this morning while she was helping out. They came in with their mom. E showed my mom the contents of her purse: a teacup being one of the things in there. You just never know what you’ll need.

My mom asked A what he was doing today. He looked around and said, “I’m going to church.”

Here and now. When you’re 2 1/2, here and now is important.

So we don’t know what he’s doing later. He’s not worried about it, obviously. He knows what’s obvious. “Well, I’m at church right now. I don’t really plan ahead much, if ever, and I’m pretty wrapped up in what’s going on around me, so I’m at church. That’s all you need to know. That’s all I know.”

It was a pertinent reminder. Sure, he’s not planning any big life moves, won’t be leaving his parents house for a while, doesn’t need to start making real money to support himself, and isn’t worried about maintaining friendships, but he’s focused on what he does know.

I’m here. I might do something else later, and I might need to get ready for that, but I’m here right now. This is what’s taking up my attention, my focus, my energy.

So the kiddos are giving me good reminders. Sometimes it matters more where you are than there you’re going, at least to some extent.

Also, noses can’t hear anything.

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