Saturday, March 27, 2021

SOL21 Slice 27: Balancing


I am participating in the
All participants are sharing stories about moments in their lives, writing 
 every day for the month of March 2021.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!

His tiny legs straddled the tiny little balance bike, pumping the ground, propelling him quickly forward; as usual, I had spotted a preschooler. It is as if some magical machine makes them appear wherever I am. He was riding on the walking path at the top of the berm, alongside the pond, just a little bit ahead of his family. Behind my mask, I smiled, as I approached him on the path, thinking about the fun he was having, and how fun it must be to be so high up, looking down at the pond. I was headed to my car, after a socially-distanced walk with friends.

All of a sudden, with the confidence and blind faith that defines this age, the little preschooler and his bike left the walking path and began to zoom diagonally down the twenty-foot high berm itself, with the pond as his immediate destination.

Oh my, NO!

I ran diagonally down the berm as quickly as I could, 
towards him, 
and his mother ran diagonally down from the other way, 
behind him, 
with unbelievable speed, 
so very, very quickly - 
there is NOTHING like a parent's adrenaline, is there? - 
and she was yelling the same thing, 

Just at the pond's edge, Mom stopped that bike and embraced him so tightly, and he looked at her with such a big, happy smile, as if thinking - "Oh, wasn't that exciting?!" 

I was just a couple feet away . . . perhaps I would have made it in time? I'd rather not think about it. 

"They keep you on your toes, don't they?" I called, cheerily, and climbed back up the berm and continued walking to my car. 

Funny, I had just been stewing about the crowds. My friends and I had just walked alongside so many others who had the exact same idea, "let's go to the park." I hadn't really enjoyed the walk at all - the sheer number of people was daunting and I found myself more preoccupied by THE STRANGERS MILLING AROUND ME rather than my walking companions, and that's not a good thing. 

Yes, there were far too many people in the park on this beautiful weather day. It is amazing, though, how we have mastered these pandemic rules - all along the way, every small group of walkers kept distanced from everyone else, as if we had choreographed our moves. Everyone was in masks (required by in our county parks); no one dashed into my walking space or anything. 

Until my little preschool friend.

"I thrive on obstacles. If I'm told that it can't be told, then I push harder."
- Issa Rae


  1. I'd like to think that you would have made it in time. I'm sorry your park was too crowded for your comfort. But, glad that others did not invade your space...until your little preschool friend, that is.

    1. Thanks, Donnetta! I am just so uncomfortable around crowds now. I suspect most of us are.

  2. I think you’re just more attuned to little humans than many of us. I bet that mom, once she regained her bearings, has thought about you rushing to help her child. Isn’t it nice to see people following the rules? I wish that were the norm everywhere.

    1. I am very attuned to them - and their actions no longer surprise me. He was adorable! Never had any idea that he had just done something so risky.

  3. With little ones you just never know quite what will happen next. your foresight was amazing, I'm sure you would have just made it, if his mum hadn't!

    1. Thanks, Celia! I may be retired, but my antennae are still out for these little ones!