Whenever we drive by a familiar building such as their old school my daughters will either say “Look Dad, it’s our old school” or even worse they’ll wave to it and say “Hi, Samuel W Shaw”. When they do the latter I’ll typically be the voice of the building responding, saying “Have a great day, girls” in a squeaky high pitched voice. Of course this is insane to them. They’ll remind me that schools can’t talk to which I reply “Then why are you saying hi to it in the first place?”
Their minds don’t comprehend like most do. Any familiar building they do this and daily. We live literally right beside the old school so this happens at least once a day. But driving anywhere and I hear “Look Dad. Subway” or “Look, there’s Chapters”. These are the same places that have been there for years and have been pointed out weekly or more by my girls. The way they make verbal note of them you’d think a brand new McDonalds was erected every other day.
When I stop and think about it sure, they come off a little nutso. But it’s just them. They are my daughters and I’m so used to it I don’t question it. There’s such purity and newness to these adolescents. It’s like they’re these fragile little angels who can do no wrong. Ones who are blameless and without malice or any salting of evil.
How much different are the rest of us, really? I know if I have a strong mental tie with a place filled with memories or a person with said memories I’ll make note in passing. I mean I won’t say “Look girls, it’s the park bench where I had my first kiss with Amelia Francesca Valentino” but I’ll definitely make a mental note. If I pass my gym and haven’t gone in a few days I won’t say “Hi World Gym” while waiving to it but I will have a similar thought.
Interestingly enough they have never referenced when pulling up in the driveway “Look Dad, there’s our home” or “Hi house”. One would think this is the Mecca of memories and it being the most welcome spot on any days itinerary for these two teens. Do they hate our house? I won’t delve into this any further than I just did. I can see the conversation play out over chicken supper tonight. “So guys, I was wondering why you don’t ever say hi to our house. What’s up with that?!”
Maybe I should direct them to saying hello to passing animals instead of buildings. Seems a tad more rational. A bit less insane. But ultimately no ones getting hurt in the process and what do I care. Doing pitchy pretend voices is always fun. It just goes to show that life once again pulls out that mirror and shows us no matter how diverse we are all the same. You don’t have to be an architect to feel good thoughts about a building.
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