Klara is eager to play with other kids, especially older ones but she doesn’t know how to make friends yet. So I have to scour the beach and the pool area to procure friends for her. I use the word “procure” consciously because it does feel weird to approach 8-11-year-olds (Klara’s favorite age group) and strike up conversations.
Because of my profession, I’m good with kids of all ages, so kids enjoy talking to me and make efforts to include Klara in their games to impress me. But it’s precisely being good at it that makes it feel uncomfortable. It’s like I’m almost grooming these kids, or something.
In the time I’ve been here, these older kids have taught me a bunch of games and a lot of interesting factoids about sea creatures. I also witnessed a truly Borgesian debate today on whether the tiny mollusks the kids were observing on the beach are aware of the existence of humans and how these mollusks perceive us. These are very happy kids because they were extremely careful not to harm even the tiniest of these sea critters. At their age, my idea of fun was squashing critters to death on a mass scale.