The other day I took Grace O’Malley to a park. It was mid day and I was surprised at how populated it was. There were seniors walking everywhere. Frisbees were being thrown. Tennis courts were being used. And the playground had children ranging from months old to about six years old. I saw twenty somethings and middle agers. The only age group I didn’t see were the school agers. It was a great sight to see.
We were there to play. So that’s exactly what we did. Grace has her Mamo’s speedometer: GO. She flew from one activity to another.
She tried everything and repeated everything numerous times. I mostly followed and played security. And worked up a great sweat chasing about as her entourage and security force. But there were some children running about that didn’t seem to have their security force attached to them. That makes me nervous. While I was standing at the foot of one of the longer slides I heard a very soft “mommy…mommy”. I wasn’t sure where it was coming from at first. And even though my “mommy” years were a couple of years ago we all have that sonar/radar/tracking built in and it never leaves. By the time the third “mommy” was whispered I had the little one in my sights. I was locked in and scanning for parental units. But she was not being heard by anyone else. And she stood precariously with one very little foot on the top rung of a ladder that went up from underneath the playground conglomeration of slides, poles, squares, hiding places and bridges. I quickly scanned the area around us as I stepped towards her. She had one arm hooked on the platform she was trying to climb on to, and was twisting her little body to look for help. As I stepped towards her I saw little feet approaching her from above. Grace O’Malley. I reached up and grabbed her and set her upon her little feet on the ground. Her all of maybe 2 years old feet.
Grace looks down at me in all of her serous four year old sincerity and said:
“Good save Mamo!”
I felt worthy of the cape.
Sometimes we just don’t know the value of what we do in a child’s eyes.