S C E N E: Aksarben Suites | Omaha, Nebraska
A brilliant, well-read, confident, striking, bronze, shapely mother.
A bubbly, curious, handsome whiz kid.
A student of the aforementioned characters. (Me.)
Every adventure begins at home. The adventure I partook in this weekend swept me away like never before. Let me ‘splain.
Weeks ago, my friend from college texted me to tell me that she’d be rolling through Nebraska on her way to a wedding in South Dakota. And then she dropped this line:
“Oh, and I’ll be bringing Noah.”
Fast forward to this past Thursday.
We must’ve pulled into the parking lot at the same time.
“We’re staying in some hotel with a weird name.” Ebony said on the phone to me a couple days ago.
“Oh! Aksarben Suites?” I said. “That’s Nebraska spelled backwards. My sister used to be the food and beverage manager at that hotel.”
I was a bit rowdy and nearly jumped through the car as I located them, parked in front of the hotel. Noah looked at me laughing and possibly wondering, “What is with this lady?“
I sprinted over to the other side and gave an awkward–through the car–hug to Ebony.
“I can’t believe you guys are here!” I screamed.
She quickly got parked, checked in, and settled in the room.
Pizza time! It was a bit late. Noah was craving a steak, but because of the lateness of the hour, we opted for pizza instead. Pie Five was the way to go and just down the street.
And then the lessons from Noah began.
“So, wait. You’re an author?” he asked.
“AND you have a blog?” he asked, leaning in closer.
“So tell me how you make your money. You’re a mogul!”
His mom and I laughed. This 10 year-old asked the question without a smirk on his face, but we were rolling.
She quickly gave him a lil’ corrective talk, but I assured her that I’d love to explain.
I talked about the pricing of my book, how PayPal takes a tiny percentage, and how I also get booked to speak at schools, organizations, and churches.
He collected a few more answers and then we went back to talking about the delectable cheese and crust.
S C E N E: Omaha streets.
I began the tour with some strange accent. And then that thing wore off around Dodge Street.
“Are you familiar with Malcolm X?” I asked.
“Of course!” they replied.
“Did you know that he was born here? The Malcolm X Center isn’t far from here. I was just there this week to see a friend of mine perform in a play.”
“And what about Warren Buffett? Do you know him?”
“Who’s that?” Noah asked.
His mom sat in the passenger seat and filled him in on the Oracle of Omaha.
“And I can’t leave out Gabrielle Union. She’s from here too.”
We continued on the brief tour and coasted by a few of my hot spots.
The Old Market.
The Pedestrian Bridge.
Omaha Public Power District.
and many, many more.
I wish we had enough time to visit Hastings, Nebraska which happens to be the birthplace of Kool-Aid. Maybe the next time around.
I glanced at Noah in the back seat to see if he had dozed off. He was still hanging on. We hastened back to the hotel and ran inside quickly to escape the whipping wind.
“Do you want me to teach you something that I taught some novice Buddhist Monks in Laos and my college students in Saudi Arabia?” I proposed.
“Yeah!” he replied, excitedly.
I went on to teach him the brain teaser filled with sequences. I asked permission from his mom to put it on Snapchat. He was sharp. It didn’t take him long to figure out the patterns.
My new lil’ bestie and I definitely bonded that night. I think his mom got a little jealous too. Shhh! Don’t tell her I said that.
We all said our good nights and hit the sack.
In the morning, the adventure continued.
“So, do you use social media to promote your stuff?” Noah asked.
“Yes, I do.” I transitioned to each platform and showed him how I use it.
“Gosh! You’re using everything!” he shouted.
I assured him that I’m not using everything, but I’m learning a lot from the various social networks.
“Well, they all have different functions. I like them for different reasons.” I responded to the young, mini-mogul.
He went back to working on his free hand drawing of The Flash.
He then showed me more of his drawings.
“You didn’t use anything to trace this, did you?” I asked him.
“No. I just watched some videos.” he responded.
Who is this man? I thought to myself.
And then it happened. He showed me this:
I’m confident that at 10 years old I did not know where or what the Taj Mahal was. But this child knew where it was and he drew a picture of it.
“Have you been to India?” he asked.
“Not yet, but I’m going this summer, God willing.” I said. “My friend is getting married there and I’ll be on my international book tour there too.”
“Are you for real?” he asked with brows raised high.
“Yep.” I said, wondering if his mom and dad would let me take him along with me.
“Noah, you inspire me.” I said.
“Okay?” he said, puzzled.
“I don’t know what to say to that.” he replied.
His mom and I laughed. This kid who dropped in my life from Tulsa made me consider and reconsider so much. I am his student. He is my teacher.
This straight A student is undoubtedly full of A’s.
The young moguls are here, folks. And they’re fiercely making their entrance. I spoke with my 13 year-old nephew this week and I tossed him an idea and he threw a masterpiece back to me.
The mini-moguls are here.
They have questions.
They need answers.
They’re learning quickly.
And they’re providing solutions to questions that haven’t even been raised.
These mini-moguls are among us and they’re not leaving without more. They will go further. They will do more. They will be more. Believe that.
We must continue to nurture them, consult them, and glean from them. They were brought here for such a time as this. Intentional timing. Unconventional thinking.