In the face of mud slinging
A few days before the publication of this Chips, one of the staff members asked me to write an Op-Ed piece for this week. I agreed — because how cool is it to see your name in the paper — and began to think, what is my opinion? I asked my friends what I should write on, and even began drafts about this year’s presidential election and how our generation has lost itself in alcohol and Nicki Minaj songs about space travel. As I began these articles, I realized that my opinions had two problems: I have no real knowledge of anything going on in the news past the headlines, and they were really negative.
We all see negativity in the media daily. No politician is happy until they can get at least one jab in on their opponent and no world news event is complete without a riot, earthquake, or other crisis. As a one-time volunteer Op Ed writer, I can’t compete with that level of professional mud slinging, so I won’t. Instead, I’m going to write about a person who keeps me grounded and reminds me that, despite all of the anger and cynicism, life is beautiful.
Skyler is the 18-month-old son of my closest friend in Ohio. He is a blonde haired, big blue-eyed stomping ball of Cute. He only knows a few words but has already mastered every animal noise you can throw at him. He hates naps more than he hates being tired but he can play with rocks for hours and I’ve never seen a couch he won’t roll around on. He doesn’t know how to say my name but we’ve agreed that “Fish” is good enough. I don’t know if its ever possible for an adult to feel emotions at as pure of a level as a baby, but hearing Skyler giggle after hitting me in the face with apple sauce is a pure shot of humanity straight to the heart.
To Skyler, nothing exists except the room he’s in and the people he can hand his toys to. Everything is immediate. Life is good as long as there is more ice cream, every song can be danced to and a hug is more powerful than words. Skyler is my daily reminder of gratitude and the importance of discovery. He may not know what he wants to be when he grows up, but I hope that I can grow up to be more like him.