*Another August 2016 catch up post*
“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be curious, to fight tirelessly for something.” -Paulo Coelho
Biking with my 4 year old Portland housemate, her mama, and my cousin…a wolf in boy form approaches us howling, quite convincingly I might add. I am shocked that we weren’t swarmed by a wolf pack or at least by several neighborhood dogs. His call of the wild is legit.
And thus commenced one of the best conversations of my entire existence…
Me: What’s your name, buddy?
“My name’s Otter. I hate it though. I’m changing it tomorrow to Johnny X!” (I can’t make this shit up, people.)
Otter: Doctor Calico has one green eye and a slot where his pupil should be in the other. (Random transition, but does it matter?)
Me: Can you put a coin in his eye slot?!
Otter: No! (gives me a look of pure horrification) If you do, he puts lasers in your mouth!
Me: So this Doc Calico isn’t really a helpful doctor is he? More like a Mad Scientist?
Otter: Yessssss! (Rolls eyes to the high heavens) he is bad. VERY bad!
Like, duhhhhhh, Hallie. Everyone knows Doctor Calico.
Did I mention that Otter can run really fast? Don’t believe me? Just believe me. Or ask Usain Bolt, they’re no longer on speaking terms. The Flash can also vouch for him and he knows ALLLLLL about The Flash! I don’t know about you, but I typically don’t question superheroes or to be honest, 5 year olds…they know things.
Otter is also a time traveler. The little dude has not only seen dinosaurs, he’s eaten right along side Mr. Mondosaurus. Who according to Otter is the largest dinosaur, like ever…(which for those of you that weren’t obsessed with dinos as a wee one and who didn’t watch The Land Before Time-the original-x1,000,000, isn’t a real thing.) According to my 4 year old-albeit dusty-knowledge, Spinosaurus was the largest predator that ever lived…occasionally munching on T Rex for snack time. But I didn’t want to ruin Otter’s Monday, they’re hard enough as it is. Another fact about Spinosaurus, he was the first swimmer to roam the earth…move over Michael Phelps. You have competition because a dinosaur obsessed, wolfboy is also on your flank…Otter can swim.
As my evening went on, hearing more mind blowing stories from my man Otter, who I’m quite certain is the first human I know to actually be named after his spirit animal, I couldn’t help but wonder…why are we here? What does it all mean? I started questioning my entire existence. (Aren’t you?) What is our purpose? Why do we know things? Why hasn’t Ellen met this kid or Oprah given him a book deal yet? What even is time or gravity or truth?! The mind reels.
If we’re friends on Facebook you may recall a post from this last winter where I babysat a 3 year old who held such wisdom in her that my life was forever changed. She informed me that we all get not only a favorite color, but a best color as well. Like, seriously?! Mind = Blown! I have never been the same. I can pick two?! Life is SO good, guys!
If you know me outside this blog world, you know I adore children. I’ve worked with them since I was one myself and interacted with all kinds. Being one who’s always been pro storytelling, I feel like Otter is my latest and greatest soul mate find.
As we ended our night, gearing up for the ride back home, Otter’s parents came over to collect their kids-yes he has an equally adorable and clever little 3 year old sister who has a dolly named Paddy O’Dean (Patty O’Green to be exact)-they thanked us for taking the time to talk with Otter and listen.
I don’t know where life will take Otter, maybe he’ll become a Mad Scientist of the Doctor Calico persuasion, or the kind that cures cancer, or a paleontologist who finds the missing fossils and completes the Spinosaurus skeleton. Maybe he will break the time continuum and travel back to the day we met, or more interestingly when dinosaurs still roamed the earth. Regardless, I have no doubt, he’s meant for great things. And if I ever have doubts in life, I know I’ll smile remembering the certainty, curiosity, and the imagination of a very impactful little boy.
Because for a little spell, a child can share a bit of magic and alter your universe forever…even on a Monday.