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A Big Afternoon

Several months ago, I was in New York City with my Dad and nephew for an impromptu “boys weekend,” which included dinner in a very cool SoHo restaurant and front row tickets to “The Lion King” on Broadway. The dinner and show were both fantastic and unforgettable.

In addition to what was mentioned above, one of the moments that will forever be burned into my memory was when we ventured to FAO Schwarz one late afternoon. Bound and determined, I wanted to show my nephew something special. Despite the fact it had been moved from its regular spot, we weaved through the maze of toys, giant stuffed animals, video games and LEGO’s to reach the end of what should be considered the toy store’s treasure map. Believe me, with a young boy, this was not easy.

Still, we made it to the giant piano on the floor!

Correction: We made it to the “Big” piano on the floor!

Hesitant at first, my nephew eventually started to do what all kids do on a giant piano…he slid across the keys on his knees like a boss. He was tapping, sliding and jumping around amongst the other kids, just letting loose.

It was his “Big” moment, whether he realized it or not. Aside from the fact I recorded this experience (with the slide!) and that he’s seen it a few times, years down the road when he’s experiencing a stressful moment, he can think of that afternoon and/or watch that video and remember how great it feels to act like a kid and to just have fun.

The video below has been making its way around the popular media outlets recently. Tom Hanks, host Jonathan Ross and Sandra Bullock goofing off on a big piano on The Jonathan Ross Show. What’s not to like?

Regardless of our age, it’s vital that we occasionally let that kid within ourselves come out and play once in a while.

You might be amazed at how many other people feel the exact same way.

After all, smiling and having fun is kind of a big deal.

The Art of Getting Wet

There is an exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City that encourages men, women and children to stand, walk and dance in the rain. And, if cautious, you will not even get wet.


Being surrounded by rain without getting wet is a groundbreaking phenomenon, but there is still something pretty wonderful about feeling those raindrops. Kids know this better than anybody. They instinctively get it.

Imagine that you are trying to catch a cab for a meeting in the city in pouring rain as your umbrella is flailing around in the wind like a dog wagging a chew toy. All the while you’re dressed to the nines to impress. Frustrating would be putting it gently. And yet, why are we angry? Is it really because of the rain?

No, it’s not the rain. It’s the meeting.

Hearing the rain while you sleep is a tranquil experience and being caught in a sudden downpour can be refreshing and oddly relaxing. It’s the sky’s way of giving you a timeout. A break from reality. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and spread your arms out wide and feel the stress drip away drop by drop. In a peculiar sense, rain serves as a personal rejuvenation.

And the best kind of rain is random. When we expect and plan for it, it becomes work. When we don’t see it coming and it arrives in the seconds it takes to glance up to the heavens, then it’s glorious. Depending on your mindset, it can feel like it’s right on cue. And yes, within those rain drops can be despair and heartbreak. However, they can also be filled with love, humor, fun, clarity, reflection or those desperately needed moments to exhale, “aaahhh.”

MOMA, in the heat of the summer, decided to offer its patrons and random museum-goers time to step into the “rain” by stepping out of their daily routine and Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday and Thursday self’s.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s raining because someone deep down wants and needs to splash in a puddle or two.

Think of it as your, “Big” moment. Well, in reverse.