After school today, Oliver and I went to get hair cuts at Ray’s Place (we hadn’t been since the day before he graduated from kindergarten in the spring), then went to Tai Chi Gardens for a late, late lunch, and then finally, on the way home, we stopped by the Confederation Centre of the Arts for the Speaker’s Reception following the opening of the fall session of the Legislative Assembly.
Oliver may be afraid to go down a slide at the playground, and have an aversion to playing “What Time Is It Mr. Wolf,” but he is a natural in social settings, and managed to wrangle himself a tour through the receiving line not once but twice. He also made cold introductions to several people in line, shaking hands and telling them his name, and generally catching them unawares.
The Speaker’s Reception was, unfortunately I think, almost entirely the preserve of adults. Other than Oliver, age 7, and the members of the Colonel Gray Jazz Band, there was almost nobody under 30. If kids are going to grok democracy, I think it would be good to have them deeply integrated into things like this.
In any case, the child-free nature of the event meant that Oliver had all the adults to himself. And so when Premier Robert Ghiz and his wife Kate walked in, Oliver knew it was time to make his move. After making introductions and shaking hands, we left the the Premier to greet others; Oliver, however, felt it important to make another swing around on the way out, and managed to convey that he is 7 years old, attends Prince Street School and, I believe, something about how he has plans to rearrange our living room tonight.
On the way home he suddenly realized that he’d forgotten to tell the Premier about his new computer game and also to seek the Premier’s counsel on what adult computer games he enjoys. It was all I could do to steer him home with the promise that he would be free to query the Premier on these weighty matters on his next encounter.
Some days there is just no doubting that you live in Prince Edward Island.