Kids come with unique powers. They have no adult responsibilities, can play outside with their friends, have ample time to beat video games and actually use their imagination. The most overrated superpower of children, however, is their unequaled ability to stare at strangers without saying a word.
This afternoon, I stepped onto an elevator with a middle aged mom and her one and a half year old son. I said hello, and the boy peeked around the back of his stroller to see who I was.
He was a cute kid, who’s small mohawk enhanced his naturally big eyes. I instantly flipped into out of touch old guy.
“Wow, what a COOL haircut!” I said, trying my best to be as animated as possible.
His mom made small talk about how it was time to cut his hair again, as I waited for some type of validation from a kid who couldn’t yet put together English sentences.
Being the victim of a staring kid is much like being in the background of a live news shot. After an initial wave, there’s really nothing left to do. Things get really awkward.
Kids have a pre-packaged, ready-made, superhero ability to stare someone down and not say a word. They’re like tiny security cameras that follow your every move and a two-way mirror that never reveals its secret.
“Enjoy this time, because once you grow up, you’ll have to start using your words when you look at someone. That’s not a whole lot of fun,” I said.