Their request shot past my left ear like a wayward missile. My guard was down and my wingman was too busy texting to notice the curly haired, bubbly little bogies closing in.
The duo were on roller skates, a potentially devastating speed advantage that we hadn’t considered as we plotted our evening stroll earlier that day.
I broke right, taking an immediate evasive maneuver, guiding our dog towards the safety of a neighbor’s lawn. My wingman, (I’ll call him Ice Man)..I don’t know what the heck he was doing.. but with two 8 year old girls approaching at Mach 3 on Disney Princess glitter skates, it was every (wo)man for himself.
Once I established the internationally recognized 10 foot rule of engagement, I opened a line of communication with what looked to be the team leader..
“Oh honey,” I offered, “you know how we are all supposed to stay far away from each other so we don’t get sick, right?”
My finger was hovering over the warp-speed button, just incase this little invador made an unexpected move.
The smile dissolved from her face as she considered my question..
Having watched my fair share of hostage negotiations in movies, I recognized that this was that moment of distraction when the swat team usually moves in.
But teams larger than three are not allowed right now, so our only defense,
our only hope,
the only way out of this jam was to be found in the power of words..
(How perfect is that for a blogger?)
“When we don’t have to worry about getting sick anymore,” I continued in a disarming tone, ” I will bring Daisy over and you can pet her for as long as you want, OK?”
I could tell she was assessing the situation;
clearly not happy to be backing down,
clearly not grasping the over-all gravity of the situation,
clearly more than a little miffed about not getting her way…
but possibly… possibly… ready to take one for the team..
for our neighborhood..
for the country..
A sour look spread across her face as she finally gave her OK (more like a resigned “whateverrr”) and powered off in a new direction, arms flailing.
It all seemed so oddly familiar.. 🤔