Question: What great attribute do little kids and older folks have in common?
Answer: They don’t care a whit about what others think of their behavior, particularly when they’re having merry moments.
Last week I was standing in line at the Las Vegas airport when I saw a three-year-old giving a free lesson in the art of letting go. He was a bored little boy who suddenly decided it was time to dance. And when he thought his shirt and pants were inhibiting his natural movements, he took them off. At least, mostly.
The shirt got stuck on the top of the boy’s head and he couldn’t yank his pants over his shoes, so he made do with what he had. Staying in rhythm, he bopped around, blinded by his shirt and limited by his downed pants, bumping into the line of first-class passengers waiting to board.
I looked to see how the other adults were taking in this vaudeville. Some pretended the boy wasn’t there. Others looked disturbed. No one smiled. No one attempted to steer the little dancer back to his mother, who was absorbed in her USA Today.
Finally, the little boy got his shirt off his head and discovered a bunch of adults giving him the “Look of Disapproval.” He smiled, waved and did a pants-down shuffle back to his mom.
Later that same week, I saw a foursome of elderly men finishing their putts on a golf course green. They were terrible golfers, but great at shooting sarcastic remarks at one another. Two groups were lined up behind them waiting to play through. The four older gentlemen knew they were slowing down play but they just didn’t care. They were having too much fun.
The younger me would have been bothered by a little boy bumping into passengers. I would have wondered how his mother could be so neglectful. And as a golfer who hates to be held up, I would have fumed at a foursome taking their time getting off of the green.
But, hurrah to the youngest and oldest of us who do not let social pressure stifle their precious moments. Maybe we all should “dance on” a little more often.