By Amy Goldberg
On the weekend while camping I was heading back from the beach to the trailer to pick something up. As I was walking, I overheard 2 boys around the ages of 6 or 7 talk about ‘their plan’ to have one of them distract the adults while the other would grab a couple of cookies. They were trying to decide what the best strategy would be as they looked at and discussed their ideas from different angles.
Of course, being the curious person that I am, I just had to find out what they were deciding to do, so I waited by the trailer before heading back to the beach.
As I watched them, I noticed (while laughing, as I found this funny & fascinating) they both had mischievous looks on their faces as they walked very quickly, all the while conspiring together.
I was secretly hoping that they would succeed in getting away with ‘the goods,’ or goodies in this case.
So, I waited.
What seemed to be a long time waiting, was probably only about 5 minutes. And then, this happened …
Much to my surprise I saw the 2 boys were running as fast they could back to the beach, both having panicked looks on their faces. I noticed that they weren’t holding any cookies in their little fists. Or at least I couldn’t see from my vantage point. What I did see however, was a huge family size bag of Cheetos that were bigger than the both of them. It was hilarious.
My first thought was to ask them; “What happened to the cookies?” but they were running so fast toward the beach that I couldn’t catch up to them. It was their getaway. Seconds later I saw them walking back from the beach …. Heads down. Energy gone. They had been defeated.
As they walked slowly back with Cheetos dragging on the sand behind them, you could see they were incredibly disappointed. They had been caught. I bet they were thinking; “We should have gone for the cookies and ate them right away so no one would catch us.” Ok, so in 6-7-year-old language they would have thought; “Shoulda grabbed cookies. Ate them. Fast.”
The wrench in the plan was that they had forgotten that the rest of their family had been down at the beach waiting for them to come back. They couldn’t hide the fact that they were towing a huge orange bag of Cheetos.
In that moment I could imagine one of their parents after seeing them with this huge bag saying; “No. Put it back, Now.”
Mission failed miserably, and they knew it.
I felt really disappointed for those 2 kids as they were so wide-eyed and enthusiastic in their planning of their cookie heist. And yet, the remarkable thing about kids (these kids in particular) is that they didn’t miss a beat – they went right into building a moat in the sand (after returning the Cheetos, of course).
A few days later, I was still laughing about those 2 kids. In fact, I’m writing about them!
What I loved best was their enthusiasm, and the fact that they discussed their ideas!!!
The fascination I have is that at any age we’re all planning something that feels like the biggest moment in our lives. Maybe not ‘how to take cookies when our parents aren’t looking,’ and yet most of us feel that whatever it is that we’re planning is just is important and crucial as those kids planning a cookie heist (ok, albeit mischievous).
In fact, ‘Cookies and Cheetos’ could be just the metaphor we need for our lives and the importance we place on things and circumstances. Not to mention how much importance we place on what others think of us; What we’re doing. How we’re doing it. And why.
Our perception is based on how we lead our lives. You know, it’s in the saying; “Change your perception, change your life?”
When we see others behaving, acting, or for that matter responding in a certain way that seems trivial to us, we tend to hold judgement. We may say; “I don’t get what the big deal is.” Or “It’s not that important.” Or” Why do they think it’s important or How come they don’t think it’s important.” You see where I’m going with this.
Who cares? It’s important to someone for a reason – just like ‘Cookies and Cheetos’ were so important to those boys.
I’m not suggesting that life is about trying to get away with something. Not at all. I’m suggesting that sometimes we just need to let go when we see others place so much importance on ‘Cookies and Cheetos.’ However, just know that at the end of the day life is probably more about ‘Cookies and Cheetos’ than we think.
So, enjoy the experiences ….