Sometimes, interacting with people can be difficult. I mean, sometimes, people are scary. It can be terrifying to approach a counter and request something. To walk up to someone who looks extra grumpy and ask them a question. To knock on someone’s door. And meeting new people in strange place? Forget about it!
What I’ve begun to realize is, it can actually be quite simple–not easy, but simple.
Let me give an example. A month or so ago, one of my little second cousins asked if she could come play with me. Let’s establish some background: small child who doesn’t have a long attention span, teenager who isn’t feeling well and has an insane schedule, and frigid fall air. My personal response? Oh, goodie.
Maybe this sounds terrible of me. And maybe it is terrible of me. But I’ve never gotten along well with little girls. It’s always been difficult for me. And now, I had to entertain one for at least an hour?
We dashed here, and there, indoors, outdoors, train tracks, trampoline, swing set, dolls, hide-and-seek. My attitude going in was, “Let’s get this over with”. But then I realized that there was a little girl who was trying to have a good afternoon. And maybe I found it difficult for myself, but how could I rob her of that if it was something I was capable of?
In the last twenty minutes, when she got on the trampoline for the thirteenth time, I tried to be fun. I bounced with her, I held mini challenges for her, and she started to giggle. And honestly? I had fun, too.
That’s just a small example. But I’d like to think that I made a difference in her day. Isn’t that all she could ask for at her age?
The title of this post is, “Concrete Skate-O-Rama!” I ask that you please read this in your best announcer voice, as this is how I would be reading it to you.
Allow me to paint the scene. I, who is not feeling well due to food and its cruelty, am outside on the porch steps reading a book, rather than inside socializing with family. Engrossed in my book, while also noticing some insane, as well as creepy, nutter-butter who’s jogging in the chilly winter air without a shirt. And then there’s my little second cousin who comes outside and starts to play on her skateboard.
She’s only eight or nine, and doesn’t have much practice on her new board. She’d set it up along the walk, push off, and I would go, “Oops! Grass!” and she would giggle. Eventually, I became especially cold, and was going to go inside when I remembered Mr. Creepy Shirtless Jogging Guy. There was no way I was going to leave her out there alone, no matter how numb my bottom became against the concrete step.
Eventually, I get off the step and say, “Hey. Let’s play a game!” because, why not, right?
I dig out my game show host voice from deep inside me and we started playing, “Concrete Skate-O-Rama!” Eventually, I had made up several challenges that included, but were not limited to: grass; tree; earthquake plates; “the ridge”; and finally, if she made it the whole way to the “Watch Children Crossing Sign” she would win…say it with me…”Concrete Skate-O-Rama!”
The fact that I actually had to make a deal with her to go inside proves to me that I was able to entertain her. And I’m proud that I made the best of my time, no matter how difficult it was to interact with her.
I’m pretty sure I’ve got some more learning to do, regarding this whole, “Make the Most of Every Situation” thing. But hey. The next time you’re stranded with only a skateboard and a side-walk, try out “Concrete Skate-O-Rama!” I promise you’ll have fun.
Just make the most of it.