September 21, 2009

First light

Some children are still friendly to adults, at least with their parents nearby. That’s a good
thing. I give those parents credit for striking the right balance between caution and
socialization, not an easy thing to do these days. As I was leaving McD a few mornings ago, a
little voice pipes up with “Bye!” I turn and it’s a little girl, sitting with her mother in a booth.

I say “See ya later, alligator.”

Giggles. “I’m NOT an alligator,” says she.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” I lift up my sunglasses. “Oh yes, I can see now that you’re a cheeseburger.”

Funniest thing she’s ever heard. “No I’m NOT!”

“Well, you’re in MacDonald’s. How do I know you’re not a cheeseburger?”

Another storm of giggles. “I’m a girl!”

“Oh, thank you for clearing that up. I wouldn’t want you to go through life thinking you’re a

Amid more hilarity, and a glimpse at her smiling mother, I make my escape.

“Bye-e”, she calls out again, waving. I walk out into the morning sun, wondering if I look as much
like a Happy Meal as I feel.