I spent my Sunday with my sister and her kids, with our behinds parked in a shady New Ulm boulevard, watching the Bavarian Blast parade. My seven-month-old niece, Liv, slept through it like a rock in her mom’s lap. She did pop her head up every once in a while, with  drool running down one side of her face, and her hair draped down the other side wildly, but she’d just drop her head back down, completely uninterested and unbothered by the loud trucks and screaming kids.
My four-year-old nephew, Liam, on the other hand, is terrified of loud noises like the semi truck horns and fire truck bells. He’d do a running cannonball into my lap everytime  a semi would approach. I swear I have more bruises on my legs from Liam crash landing on me than I ever had working out on the farm.
That's weird to say, but I think I’d rather have to wrestle cows all day than withstand another parade with my nephew.
But that's not what I want to say. In between the periods of semi trucks and fire trucks, Liam was out in the street like a normal toddler, hoarding candy like a dragon and dancing like Michael Jackson with the other toddlers when the radio station vans came through. Heck, I even got him to shout, “Give me your number,” every time one of the Miss Sleepy Eye or Miss New Ulm cars drove by with the ladies waving at the crowds of people. I envy how easy kids can make conversation.
During one of Liam’s less successful leaps into my lap, he landed a good three feet short of my chair and scraped his knee. He cried and cried, but there aren’t too many injuries candy can’t remedy for kids. I told him to tell people that he got into a fight with a tiger. I don’t think he understood me though, because I did not once hear him say “tiger.”
From that point on, he’d run up to other strangers’ kids and start a conversation by blurting, “LOOK AT MY KNEE! I GOT INTO A FIGHT WITH A CHOIR!” The other kids would gasp, and go, “You fought a fire?” Of course, he’d go, “What? Yah?” and then that was it, they were friends.
I wish the world worked that way. If we could all love like kids, and have no self-consciousness like them, imagine what the world could be like.