Olivia

Honestly, I’ve never been crazy about kids. I’m never the first to volunteer to babysit and you won’t find me going gaga over a baby.

Usually I try to avoid grouping people into their stereotype so note that when I say kids, I mean most.

Like many, I’ve noticed the downfall of children. I know a six year old with an iPhone. Kids are glued to the TV screens. They yell at their parents like they’re 13 by the time they’re six. I’m not even sure if they catch lightning bugs anymore! While kids in this generation are very technologically advanced, they lack the wistfulness of youth and the wonderful imagination that’s limitless.

One little girl I met recently gave me hope for youth. She is a snaggletoothed, messy ponytail wearing, energetic six year old and her name is Olivia.

I met Olivia in a hotel pool while I was in Florida. I was by myself in the pool and she cheerfully swam up to me and asked,”do you want to play?” So I played.

The reason I’m writing about Olivia is because the entire time we were swimming, she was polite, friendly, and understanding.

She asked me about my dog, what I want to be when I grow up (she wants to be a basketball player btw… she doesn’t even play) , what I do for fun, and how much we love to swim.

When her mom asked her to do something, she did it. She thanked me for playing with her, when I wanted to lay out for a bit she fully understood and didn’t pout, and at the end of the day she got her mom to buy me ice cream from the ice cream truck (AND threw away the trash for me afterwards)

The next day, I saw Olivia out by the pool again and swam with her before leaving the next day. Our game was interrupted by the sound of ambulance sirens.

I look over to Olivia and she has her head bowed and I hear her say a short prayer for the people who are hurt. I look over to her dad and he tells me she does it every time she hears sirens.

I’m writing this piece to let you know that there are kids out there like Olivia. Kids like Olivia grow into adults that change the world. Don’t lose hope in people, because we still have the little ones to change the world that unfortunately they’re growing up in.

Be kind to kids, they are the future.

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