April 18th, 2014
"I like your dog. Is it a boy or a girl?" the outgoing girl asked after chiding her younger (or twin?) sister for complaining about being, "too tired" on her bike, still with training wheels. "You need to learn how to control it," I heard her shout just before she spotted Lexi.
"Girl," I responded.
"What is her name?"
And then she rode off after her sister.
"Can I pet your dog?" the same girl said as we came upon each other again. I spotted her Mom pruning the trees in the park. I’ve never seen anyone else care for what seems to be public property.
As I agreed, before I even said anything, the girl crouched into the appropriate stance to allow Lexi to get used to her. Her sister, the same one who was having trouble with her bike, timidly arrived. She didn’t want her older sister to know she was afraid, but every time Lexi spun around to face her, she ran. The youngest of the four was on her tricycle and definitely ran away when Lexi moved suddenly. Claire was her name and she definitely was afraid of dogs, an announcement the timid one made as she informed me, “I’m not afraid of dogs!”
Claire, though, was because those cautious eyes followed me, for quite some time after our interaction in the way that eyes do when you want to overcome your fear because it seems silly, but it’s still fear.
"I’m Chinese," the outgoing girl announced.
"Awesome," was the only response that came to mind.
"I’m a Dog," she announced proudly, and "my brother is a Rat," with even more pride.
Just then the boy came closer to us.
"I’m a Dragon," I announced, matter-of-factly.
"WOAH!" They exclaimed with amazement and a hint of envy.
…and then, our paths diverged again and Lexi and I headed home, but with the mark of a girl who has an amazing light on my mind.