My friend’s kid

Last year, when he was barely one-and-a-half, we traveled with a friend’s kid. It was his first time traveling long distances. It was his first time to Taiwan.

Like many kids his age, he was uncomfortable with all the change, all the weird food and people.

Our friends had warned us about how their kid had them at their mercy. He threw tantrums, quite often in the most inopportune places. Restaurants, trains, airplanes. We were warned that things might be slow. Because he is…like the king. He wailed. He needed to be consoled. He needed help.

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But he had this incredible knack for looking at you. For a brief moment. You then face him and smile back. Suddenly, he turns away and the smile is gone. You wonder…did he smile for you? Just for you? Has he figured out that’s his way of getting you to pay attention?

Whatever the case, I saw him today, almost a year older, he was jumping around his living room. He repeatedly fell into the couch, planting his small body in the cushion. Every so often, he would look up at his adult counterparts—over five feet towering him. Then he would smile.

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