Sometimes it’s hard to relate to kids. Because, well, childhood has been a minute for adults. They say things that don’t make sense. They can be obsessed with things that weren’t even invented when we were little. They argue over dumb stuff, and they deprive themselves of so many flavors because they’ve predetermined that they “don’t like that” even though they’ve never had it.
But, I think I found the great equalizer. A bobcat. Not a wild one, although it’s safe to say that both adults and kids would probably be equally as scared of one it if strolled up to the mailbox or decided to sit shotgun or something.
Not the kind with legs. The kind with a scoop. The tractor kind of bobcat.
We had one parked in our driveway for the past week as Ron chipped away at removing debris at our place and the place we’re renovating, and I think almost every one of our neighbors talked with us about it – and all of them are adults.
And the kids? They were drooling at the idea of getting a chance to drive it. We even caught one of the neighbor kids climbing in it, thinking he was being sneaky, just to see what it felt like from the driver’s seat.
So, we let them give it a go. Why the hell not, right? Worst case scenario something goes sideways and we have ourselves a killer shot at winning America’s Funniest Home Videos. Best case scenario, they learn something and remember how to drive one when they’re old enough to do it themselves. That, and they create a really cool memory.
And, while we can’t appreciate the lure now as much, since we’ve been driving for decades – I can totally understand the romance that comes with being able to drive anything when you’re not allowed to drive yet – be it a go cart, a riding lawn mower, to steer the car or to drive a bobcat.
It’s a moment. And, I’m glad each of them got to have one. Because they’re reminded every day of how little they are, when they need to use a chair to reach a bowl, or they ask permission to use the stove or they’re told it’s “time for bed.”
This tiny tractor made them feel big. And those moments are important in a world that makes them feel small.