The Luckiest Children

Being around people right now feels like being rubbed with sandpaper on all sides. Company – especially the kind that requires a lot of effort – is torture. But I had to take Klara to a backyard party at her new friend’s house. Everybody there was a complete stranger. These are lovely people but I’d rather pick cucumbers in a field all day (yes, I have that experience from the Soviet kolkhoz) than make small talk at this moment in my life.

In any case, though, Klara had an amazing time. I looked at her and the other kids and thought, these are the luckiest children in the history of the world. Swings, a trampoline, a slip-and-slide, sprinklers, baby deer walking around, hot dogs, apricots, cherries, and nobody yelled at them or tried to edit their behavior in any way all evening.

It’s funny how one can be in great discomfort yet simultaneously extremely happy for somebody else to the point that the discomfort no longer matters. I’m observing American childhood from the sidelines, and it’s a great experience.

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