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Keeping the wonder of the child within

Apr 25, 2008 Keeping the wonder of the child within

Recently, my wife, 2-year-old boy and I went to a local puppet theater production from part of the Jungle Book. The walking puppeteers and production were very good; fortunately I have not yet had to have a Barney moment with my boy, who does not yet know who that annoying person is in a purple dragon suit and, worse, his entourage.

My son was mesmerized by the stage action at the puppet theater, proclaiming "Wow!" from time to time, and walking a bit to and fro, not particularly obstructing anyone’s view while doing so, because of the step-type seats we sat on. Around ten minutes into the performance, the manager comes in and says either to sit down or leave. It reminds me of the cartoon of the elves hammering together toys, where all but one elf hammers in a ra-ta-ta fashion, but the sole elf as happy as can be hammers in a ra-ta ra-ta fashion, until the other elves stare him down and he conforms to their ra-ta-ta fashion of hammering, and he is no longer a happy elf but an unhappy worker drone.

Instead of telling my boy to sit down, we left, and had a great time at the nearby park that includes a bridge overlooking all sorts of water mysteries, rock formations and plants. Then he rode his bike around the park.

My boy also loves YouTube films of fish and water mammals, including the one displayed above. I plan to show him this Rube Golberg-esque video that I just found, too.

If I ever lose touch with the wonder and fearlessness of the child within me, all I need is to spend some time with my son, who can spend over an hour going up and down elevators without getting tired.

As I have written before, part of being powerful as a trial lawyer is being fearless. Part of becoming fearless is keeping in touch with the wonder of the child within us. Next time someone tells you you’re acting like a child, perhaps it should be taken as a compliment. Jon Katz.

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