Thursday, May 12, 2005


At work, occasionally I hear the rapid beat of a child's feet pattering down the hallway toward my office. When I turn around, a three-year-old, briefly escaped from his caregiver, peers curiously in at me from the doorway.

Now, our first floor is set up so that you can make a loop from the front lobby, down the east hallway, through the kitchen and staff lounge, and up the west hallway back to the lobby. So this child darts up the west hallway, sees his mother coming toward him from the lobby, and turns away from her, running back toward my office. I step up the hallway a few steps to cut off his access to the kitchen and the endless loop. Crouching at his level, I half-spread my arms as he gallops full tilt toward me.

I was just trying to corral him for his mother, but his exuberant three-year-old mind sees a smiling adult with outstretched arms, and he opens his arms and launches himself at me for the hug he thinks I'm offering. We giggle together and I take his hand to lead him, not at all perturbed by this abrupt termination of his escape, back to his mother.

Those are the best moments in my day.