Yesterday, while we were at David's classroom helping him get things done, the janitor came in to sweep the floor. As soon as he came in, Goen said "aii" and the janitor smiled and said "hi" right back. But it did not stop there. Goen let out another "aii" to which the janitor replied "hello there." Then "aii" again, and "hi, how are you?" in reply. This went on until the janitor ran out of different things to say, at which point he just smiled and laughed and gave the occasional "hi" in return. I think it went on for about five minutes, the whole time the janitor was cleaning.
Other times, such as when we were at the grocery store a few days ago, it can become a series of similar merry-go-round-esque encounters. A typical scene goes something like this:
"Aren't you cute."
A smile and a laugh.
"Hi." Then, to me, "He is adorable."
"Hi. And you have beautiful eyes."
"Thanks. He got them from his papa."
"He reminds me of my son. He just started college. It goes by so fast."
"Aii. Aii. Aii."
I suppose it is a learning experience for me. I have never been good at engaging strangers in conversation. Now my son engages them for me. But we can't stay long in these "hi for an aii" encounters. There are so many moments to enjoy, and so little time in which to do it.