Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | October 5, 2006

life as we know it

On my run this morning I passed the monkey bars.  A little girl finished swinging over the last rung and landed a few feet away from me kicking up a cloud of dust. “Oh,” she says grinning at her accomplishment and offers a “sorry.”

I smile, “No problem.”  As I continue to run past her she yells, “Can you tie my shoe?”  One thing I have learned about children is that to them adults are interchangeable.  Anyone of similar mother like age and hair color may be asked to take care of daily tasks for them.  I bend down realizing at close range that this girl is slightly older than two of my nieces and slightly younger than two of them.  I tied a double knot for good measure then watched her climb the short ladder on one of the monkey bars.

“Now you have to watch me,” she calls out, “this time I’m going to get it right.”

I find myself holding my breath as she swings out a right arm then a left, reaching for the metal rungs and curling her knuckles over them even though it is an unlikely reach given the length of her arms and space between the bars; I continue to watch until she’s safely across to the other side.  Suddenly I become aware that her Mother, Guardian, whomever is nowhere in sight.  Quickly I turn on my heel and sitting ten feet behind me she’s smiling and offers a wave.  She’s one of those naturally feminine beauties with raven red hair, long legs, and thin arms.  “Sorry,” she offers, “she’s friends to anyone with red hair.”

In unison we laugh.  Everyday should start with humoring a perfect stranger and seeing through the eyes of a child.  I still feel like crossing the monkey bars is a task I’m trying to perfect.  Problem is, they spaces between keep getting wider and wider.


  1. I’m less worried about the gaps between the bars as I am about what was on the hands of the guy who was ahead of me in line. Sometimes, I feel like the last guy in this city who washes his hands on the way out of the men’s room!

    It’s nice that the little girl trusted you on sight.
    Generally, kids and animals are pretty good at predicting character. Besides, as wild as you are, I always had you pegged as good mommy material. Ah, I’m sure you’ll find the right guy, one of these days. Maybe in Vegas!

  2. Love the spiffy design you got going now!

    Don’t worry about slipping off the monkey bars. Tanbark might give you a splinter when you fall, but not one so bad you can’t hop right back on.

  3. Sounds like the perfect start to a day, the right amount of reaching out help and wonderment to just make you smile through the morning.

  4. I’m not sure the spaces get wider but the task get harder as the effort gets more painful on body and soul.

  5. Little vignettes like this are what make me come back here. Well-written, Sassy. I laughed at the red hair comment. You’re lucky to have experienced such a warm little moment.

  6. it’s not that they get wider, its the stuff clinging to us gets heavier.

  7. My anti-spam word was tequila. Yum. Now I’m thirsty and I forgot what I was gonna say.

    Oh yeah.

    Monkey bars.

    Just like you were there for the little girl, I’m sure someone is there to cheer you on and help you when the bars look to far apart. And I’m sure just like that little girl, you’ll keep trying ’till you get it right. So what’s the big deal? You’re good.

  8. For me it’s not the space between the bars…it’s the ever increasing weight that feels as if it’s pressing me down. Making it impossible to reach…


%d bloggers like this: