Little Boy Blue

As his father opened the door, the child entered through the doors of  The Sweet Praxis in endearing fashion: hopping with feet from the threshold to the counter. The hood of his coat flapped up and down while en route. The boy around the age of 3 mentally engaged with the goods the self-proclaimed (and rightfully so) “bake lab” of downtown Syracuse and located at 203 E. Water St. He was close enough to the sneeze guard that his eyes could be heard rubbing against the glass.

I’m so excited, he announced, but it was unintentional it was for the rest of the rest of the customers to hear.

He walked up to the table for two on my right. Before he slid the dish that displayed the brownie topped with sea salt to the middle of the table, and save the fact it was at the reachable distance close to the edge, the woman near him commented how his treat looked good.

I love my brownie, he said. Daddy bought it for me.

She asked if he was going to eat it all. He replied, saying he was going to share it with his father.

He pulled him self up on the bench. I looked up to make sure he wasn’t struggling, but he got himself situated. He looked at me, smiled and burped. Excuse me, he said.

In overhearing a conversation involving his father, the two of them were going to attend the Syracuse in Solidarity march. The event, which was to have an anticipated 50 to 100 attendees, according to its organizers, saw a 2,000-plus person gathering. It respectfully added to the fervor and near 700 other gatherings from across the nation.

This child and probably countless other children will be asking the same questions. They’ll ask an infinite number of whys. And their parents, guardians and elders will have to be objective when explaining to the best of their knowledge. (One thing is clear: Both extreme sides of the fence would be completely fine without the other.) Many of the answers are simple, and many will sound redundant. They’ll be reminders to listen actively, to treat others with respect and to do unto others in the same way they would like to be treated.

Of course, the issues are much more in depth for those basic resolves.

We should want and be able to sit with friends and strangers around tables. We should be able to discuss critical issues and respectfully disagree when those instances reveal themselves. We should admire each other’s unique differences. We should be able to discuss the proper way to make a s’more, including substituting a peanut butter cup in lieu of a chocolate bar. We should indulge in breaking bread. We should burp and excuse ourselves.

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