Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A piece of cake...

"In their innocence and trusting, they will teach us to be free" --- John Denver, "Rhymes and Reasons."

It's easy to become cynical in our modern world -- especially when you observe human beings for a living.

Cause you know how it is. Friends and family let you down. Politicians break your heart. People get too wrapped up on their own solipsistic lives to care about anything else.

Thank God for children.

I've told you before about Connor, the little boy my grandmother keeps from time to time. He's such a good kid. Smartest 2-year-old I've ever seen.

Anyway, we held a little birthday party for Connor right after work yesterday afternoon. My grandmother bought a cake. I blew up a bunch of balloons. Most of the family came over to celebrate.

You should have seen Connor. His eyes were lit up brighter than Times Square on New Year's Eve. I don't think he ever wiped that grin off his face.

The part he loved the most was the chocolate cake. I kept trying to feed him some by hand. He wouldn't touch it. So I finally grabbed a fork and tried that way. He laughed, grinned and ate the cake.

My grandmother tried to get him to give me some cake. He finally did, using a fork, of course. When I ate that big ol' bite, he laughed and grinned some more.

Somewhere along this life's journey we lose that kind of innocence. In some ways it's good. In most ways, it's a shame.

The TV series "Mork and Mindy" featured a storyline near the end of its run in which Mork's kid (played by Jonathan Winters) grew up in reverse. He came out of the womb at 50 years old or so and grew smaller. By death, he'd be an infant.

That first struck me as funny. But the more I thought about it, I decided it was downright profound. Imagine if we became more trusting as we got older -- more innocent, more simple in our tastes.

Connor begged all day today for one thing --- another slice of chocolate cake. His aunt finally drove him over here to get it. That's all he talked about for 24 hours.

Think for a moment what might happen if life really were a piece of cake...

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