Some days you have to trust THAT FEELING. Daddy Radar, the Sheepdog Instinct, Papa Bear’s Intuition, a gut reaction, whatever. Some days it’s just THERE and you can’t ignore it. It happened last night.

We took the kids to Duke Gardens for a concert. By chance we ran into a family we know. Lil Bit and the daughter of this family are in Kindergarten together. Perfect. Now the girls will entertain themselves and the parents can enjoy the show.

The girls didn’t want to sit and watch old men play music that they don’t hear on the local pop station, so the parents all took turns following the girls around the garden as they explored the ponds and twisting paths.

My shift came late in the evening as darkness was coming on. The girls were wandering down the darkest paths they could find because the lightening bugs were coming out and they wanted to catch them. I let them have their free reign. They could wander as far ahead of me as they cared to as long as I could see them.

At one point the girls and I were exploring different paths. They were on the outermost ring of the garden. I was wandering an inner ring, but I could see them over the plants so all good. Then it happened.

They blew by some guy with his head buried in his smartphone. They never saw him. But he definitely saw them. His head came up. He watched them wander off. He looked around to the left and the right, then he got up and started to head in their direction.

I followed my ring of the garden headed in the same direction watching all three of them and looking for an intersecting path that would get me access to their ring. He didn’t see me yet.

There were a handful of other folks on the paths, exploring the gardens, dancing to the music. The girls were about to turn a bend where all three of them would be out of sight and that was more than I was willing to allow.

I called the girls back to me. Loudly. Louder than was necessary. Pleasantly, but loudly. I turned a lot of heads when I called them and that’s exactly what I needed.

I needed him to know that those girls were not alone. I needed him to know that I was there for those little girls, even if I was not exactly with them. I needed him to know that they were under my protection. I needed him to see me. I mean really SEE me. I needed him to look me in the eye. I needed the people around us to know that those girls were with me.

As the girls came back to me show me their treasures, he turned 180 degrees and headed off to the adminstrative building.

Who knows? Maybe I screwed up. We were on Duke campus. It’s entirely possible that I scared off the world’s leading expert on fireflies and squashed a once in a lifetime chance for those girls to get a spontaneous class on the magic of fireflies. We’ll never know.

This time, this night. I needed to trust THAT feeling.

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