Sunday, April 02, 2006

"That bird doesn't have a family"

We decided to take Maia to the opening of Ice Age 2 on Saturday night and to go eat a pizza at Costco on the way. Can't beat the price for pizza at Costco.

It was the first movie Maia had ever seen, and she loved it. On the way there, she kept saying, "It's going to be exciting, yeah?" She loved the funny looking squirrel on his endless quest for acorns, invariably wildly unsuccessful, and she laughed her big chesty laugh whenever he got himself into trouble.

At Costco, she had said something that stuck with me.

We were eating pizza at the picnic tables set up by Costco on a cement lanai. There were little groupings of people everywhere, but there was also a bird, a dove, wandering around on the cement floor by itself.

Maia said, "That bird doesn't have a family."

Kristina said, "Maybe its family is at home," but Maia said, "This isn't home, this is Costco." Kristina continued in that vein, but I don't think Maia ever gave up on the idea that that particular bird didn't have a family.

Today, I took Maia to the airport and to a park. The airport used to be a regular Saturday morning stop, but with Maia's hula class on Saturday mornings, we hadn't been for quite a while.

On the way to the Hertz lot at the end of the runway--which is where we position ourselves to watch the planes taking off and landing--I had noticed a park. We had never been to that park, but I thought we might try it today to see if there was a place for Maia to ride her bike, which I had put in the trunk of the car.

The park turned out to be a large one, and evidently a favorite spot for Samoan families. There were a couple of dozen families barbecuing and sitting around talking under portable awnings--aluminum tube frames with canvas stretched over the top of the frames, sort of like tents with no sides. Some young men were playing softball. There were a lot of kids, too, on the climbing structure.

The sight of all of the families reminded me of what Maia had said the day before about the bird. And so on the way home later on, I asked her if she remembered the bird that didn't have a family.

"Yes," she said.

"Was that sad?"

"Yes," she said again.

"Why?" I asked.

She talked a lot nonstop, and I didn't make out everything she said. But the thing that she emphasized was, "The bird didn't have anybody to talk to."

"Have you ever known a person who didn't have a family?" I asked.

She shook her head. "No," she said.

I wonder if she doesn't remember it, in some way.

Finding our way through this isn't going to be easy.

John, Sunday, April 2, 2006


Blogger Raghu said...

A child's interpretation of the world is often so deep that we ourselves would be bamboozled by it. The lovely Maia is a very observative, smart and sensitive child...

4/03/2006 02:51:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

She is all of those things. Sometimes the strength of her awareness is almost palpable--you get the feeling of a little mind, working away and gaining depth by the day.

4/03/2006 11:43:00 AM  

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