I see you

In the house next door to mine lives a relatively young couple with a three year-old daughter and a newborn baby. Since the weather has gotten so lovely, the little girl often plays outside in our shared backyard. I can see her now through the window by my desk as I type. For the most part, she plays by herself, often ignoring the world around her. However, on occasion, she will yell to her mother or grandmother (both of whom watch her from a comfortable chair on the patio) to watch her as she does something fantastic.

Normally, her favorite activity is to drag her little red and yellow plastic vehicle (the name of which escapes me – it’s just a box with wheels and a steering wheel!) up the tiny hill towards the willow tree, mount her ride, swoop down the slope as she yells, “Whoa-oa-oa-oa-oa!” and giggle hysterically when she tumbles off the plastic fun machine at the bottom of the hill. I’ve seen her do this over and over, amusing herself for what seems like hours.

Today, though, she has learned a new and vital life skill, which she is practicing without end. She is making that sound that can only come by pressing ones lips together, pouting slightly and blowing air through them, thus creating a sound that goes “Brrbrrbrrbrrbrrbrrbrrbrrb!”

I wish I could remember the thrill of the first time I was able to make such a strange sound with just my body. I can only judge the sensation by watching this little child, who is simply delighted.

Even now, as I write this, she is finding new and creative uses for her new sound. At first, she ran around the yard while making the sound, arms stretched wide in the appropriate airplane position, swooping in large circles while crying, “Brrbrrbrrbrrbrrbrrbrrbrrb!” But now the gears in her brain have really started turning, and she has once again mounted her little plastic vehicle. This time, instead of yelling “Whoa!” as she rides down the hill, she now makes a proper “Brrbrrbrrbrrbrrbrrbrrbrrb!”, which is much more appropriate for an imaginary running motor.

Since this little girl likes to play after lunchtime, which is when I prepare for my lessons, I often have the opportunity to observe her antics. Up until today I have been a silent observer, invisible to the child below. But today, for some unknown reason, the little girl decided to look up at my window, where she spotted me spying on her. If I were in her place, I would have run back inside, embarrassed that my playing had been watched. This little girl obviously has more guts than I ever had. Upon seeing me, she paused in thought, then raised her arm, pointed in my direction, and, in her loudest voice possible, yelled, “Brrbrrbrrbrrbrrbrrbrrbrrb!”

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