At a crossroads of joy and instruction

I love to see kids laugh. Here's a challenge for you.

At a crossroads of joy and instruction

At a crossroads of joy and instruction 1024 709 Looking out Loud

This is a Daily Moment—short perspectives on life and times through a dad’s eye.

November 19, 2021

There’s something about seeing little kids laugh that just makes my day.

This morning, I dropped my kids off at school, and as I started walking home there was a mom and dad walking their little boy. He was maybe in kindergarten, first grade max. Very little. And we were about to arrive at a crossroads at the same time. It was one of those where it’s not clear who should let who go first.

So, the mom slowed up, and the kid looked at me and he smiled and started speeding up. So I looked at him and smiled, and I crouched down as if we’re going to race. And with a big grin, the boy runs in front of me through the crosswalk. I blurted out “Wow, you’re quick!” Right then, the big smile on his face got even bigger.

This all happened in a matter of seconds. And while it was happening, I heard the mother say to the boy, “Watch out, careful, let him go by.” Of course that’s part of the job of a mom or a dad. To guide your kid through this world—physically, emotionally, socially. Because in everyday life, you have to navigate many crossroads with other people.

I see two great gifts to give to a child here: one is bringing awareness to the larger social reality in which we live, and the other is bringing little bits of joy into the moments.

So here’s a challenge for you: Next time you’re out and about, see if you can make a child smile. Whether it’s your own or somebody else’s. You just might make their day. And I bet you’ll bring a smile to your face too.

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