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Thursday, February 1, 2007

Tricks are for Kids

Ben, my friend’s 4-year old, can tell the difference between a BMW and a Mercedes. He twisted his mouth in concentration yesterday, when his dad asked about the car next to us. We were idling at a red light.

‘That’s…that's a Volvo!’ he said, after a moment of concerted silence. His head rolled back and forth, and his legs knocked restlessly against the carseat.

‘Yes, Benji. A Volvo. Very good.’

In a city where people are measured by designer clout, how could Benji’s talent be surprising?

I laughed a little and wondered what the next trick could possibly be. Anxiously, I fingered the turquoise ‘Kate Spade’ tote I’d gotten from a tiny stall on Canal Street. I felt like an airport hijacker surrounded by bomb sniffing dogs.

I opened the window a crack. ‘Benji’s such a smart little kid.’

‘Yeah. Kids are sponges. They don’t know what they’re saying.’

I nodded and forgave Ben for not knowing what a Toyota was. This was probably a passing fad and all would be forgotten in a couple months.

When I turned to look at Ben in the back seat, he was humming tunelessly and looking out the window. Seeing him like that made me smile.

Photo by ReyGuy.