Early this month, we took my five-year-old nephew to Langkawi, an island located northwest of Peninsular Malaysia. It was his first plane ride, and he couldn’t be more excited.
When the plane was taxiing on the runway before takeoff, he asked impatiently, “Are we in the sky yet? Are we?” As the plane lifted off the ground, he raised his little arms and cheered. We all smiled.
He was never afraid of heights. I used to lift him up high when he was a baby, and he would break into a wide, toothless grin. From that I knew he would one day be thrilled to see the top of the world.
In Langkawi, he referred to every lush tropical islet as Te Fiti and every free-range chicken as Heihei. The eagles soaring above us, as well as the huge eagle statue next to the ferry terminal, were all Maui. My nephew belted out You’re Welcome whenever he was prompted, in his best The Rock imitation.
When I stoop down to view the world from his perspectives, I saw things that I would otherwise just brush aside, such as the frowning brows of the duck cartoon on the amphibious tour bus. “Why is it unhappy?” my nephew was puzzled. Isn’t it supposed to be really fun ride?
With his soft little hand in mine, my own childlike wonder was reignited. Through his pure eyes, the world felt magical and delightful. While we are too eager to shove him onto the insipid path of growing up and conforming to the society, he slows us down to pause and watch the koi fishes in the pond.
I wish he will forever remember his excitement when the plane soared into the afternoon sky. I know I will always cherish that particular moment in the softest spot of my heart.