When The Budge was about one or so, we'd go around Ketring Lake - Monkeymoo walking or running or jumping, and The Budge reclining in the jogging stroller, staring at the sky. Every few months, we'd see an elderly couple walking in the opposite direction. The gentleman half would look at The Budge and say:
When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am Six,
I'm as clever as clever,
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.
-A. A. Milne's "Now We Are Six"
I was thinking about him awhile back - the nice old man who greeted people with poetry instead of nods, and I was missing him, wondering about his life - what he was up to - hoping that he was still able to enjoy his life. The next day, we walked around our lake again - this time with Tenacious E in the stroller while The Budge rode ahead on HULKSMASH (his new bike) and a gentleman stopped and looked at Tenacious E, saying "When I was one, I had just begun."
On the occasion of The Budge's sixth birthday, I'm thinking of this stranger and his poetic greetings and grateful for a world where that still happens - while hopeful that it continues. Perhaps one day in the future, I'll be that lady whose hellos are poems.
And The Budge? Clever as clever indeed. Watch out world.