Disembarking from a cruise ship can be a rather lengthy and, quite frankly, boring, process. As you know I recently took a cruise with my family and found, much to the cruise line’s credit, that they made it relatively painless.
True, I have only gone on one previous cruise. That one, unfortunately, devolved into one body-crushing swarm that made me fear for my life and gave me nightmares for a week (okay, maybe not that long). Nonetheless, it didn’t happen that way, this time.
The most difficult part was waiting for our section to be called for disembarkation. There wasn’t much to do in that span of time so most of us just did some people watching.
That’s when my son and I saw him.
We were looking around our assigned spot, the casino, when a family of five entered. Dad first, followed by two girls. Mom and brother brought up the rear of the party.
The most noticeable thing about this family was the amount of luggage that accompanied them. This family had two girls; I expected a great deal of luggage. One of those suitcases might just be for shoes, if they are typical girls. At any rate, their Mom was trying to make sure that everyone pitched in and each child had responsibility for pulling their own suitcase.
The girls had no problem following orders and walked into the casino bossing each other around and making sure they did what Mom said. They were older and, well, just typical girls.
Things became interesting when the only boy in the family, entered the casino. He was about four years old, and he came in dragging a backpack on wheels.
“Now be sure that you keep that backpack with you,” we heard Mom say as she followed him in.
That was probably the kiss of death.
He took one look at the flashing, shining lights of the slot machines and, literally, dropped his backpack and ran.
It was the funniest thing we had ever seen and my son and I both looked at each other and started laughing.
There was no way that he was going to cart that backpack with those machines beckoning. He climbed over his sister’s luggage, which lined the front of a couple of slot machines, and sat on the chair facing the first one he could reach. He sat there, blissfully pulling levers and pushing buttons.
So what if pushing those buttons and playing with the lever did nothing?
IT WAS COOL AND SHINY!
His backpack lay in the middle of the entry way as Mom struggled with her luggage. People who entered behind them just looked at the cartoon character front of the overturned pack, smiled, and walked around it with a bit of a chuckle. Our little friend was unconcerned and totally absorbed in that slot machine.
Mom sighed, upon reaching the rest of her family, set her luggage down and walked over to his pack.
As a fellow Mom, I could read her sigh, “So much for my reminder of responsibility.”
She rolled it over to where she stood with Dad while the girls cried in outrage, “Mom he’s playing with the slot machines!”
For her part, Mom was not going to overlook an opportunity to keep her four year-old occupied until it was time to leave.
“Leave him be! It will keep him in one place!” She told them.
My son and I got a wonderful laugh out of that moment. That little guy was not going to cart around that backpack when a row of blinking, flashing machines lay in front of him, waiting to be explored. He had more important things to do.
I’m sure we have all had those times when we wished we could have followed his example. The heck with the responsibility!
Still chuckling at what I had just witnessed, I started thinking. (I had time to fill, remember?)
Boy would I love to do that. Just do what I want and know that someone else would take care of my responsibilities.
Ah, youth. (I guess I was feeling a bit old)
Yet, maybe that little guy was on to something. Maybe, the next time I see a bright, shiny, flashing, light I should drop my back pack and run.
Just leave it on the casino floor.
Mom will pick it up, right?