Tuesday, October 9, 2007

on the run

Our lovely daughter called after school to say her truck wouldn't start. After I made sure that she remembered to put it in park before trying to start it (really), she revealed that perhaps she'd left the lights on all day. Well, crap, was all I could think to say. How's that for a positive and supportive mother? She had play practice after school, and a full dress rehearsal at 6:30pm, so I waited for hubby to get home, for company, and because I just don't like jumper cables.

About 7:15pm we drove our VW Passat to her high school, jumper cables in the trunk and Jack in tow. This isn't the first time I've had to rescue her, so I knew just where her assigned parking spot sits on the enormous school lot. After hubby hooked the cables up, he said we needed to charge it a while and I should take Jack for a walk. I hadn't brought his leash, but we were in a completely fenced parking lot. There is a thin sliver of grass running between the curb and the chain link fence, a perfect place for Jack to walk. So I got him out of the back seat of the car and sat him down. He was off like a shot, going in the wrong direction (toward the street), but came right back to me when I called. I picked him up, turned him around, and he ran for the corner. I walked leisurely along, knowing the fence would keep him in. That is, would have kept him in, had it been intact.

All the way from our house to the school, about a fifteen minute drive, hubby held Jack in his arms with the window rolled down and let Jack feel the wind on his face. He loved it, closing his eyes and craning his neck to catch as much of the breeze as possible. Maybe that's what put the idea into his head to run.

There is construction at the school, and the fence is down, but it's recent, and I didn't know. I yelled for Jack. He looked over his shoulder at me and in that instant, I knew he wasn't coming. I took off in a dead run toward him, which Jack saw as his cue to run faster. He veered left and ran up toward the auditorium. I cannot stress how large this parking lot is. I don't run a lot anymore because of a bad knee, but I can walk an hour on my treadmill at 4 mph with no problem. I ran flat out until I couldn't run anymore, then resorted to calling Jack. Every time I would stop running, Jack would find an interesting place to pee. I think he was just letting me catch up so he could make me chase him a little more. I finally caught up with him, not because he let me, but because he ran himself into a corner where the wings of the old and new buildings meet and couldn't get out. I picked him up and put him on my chest, his front legs over my shoulder, the easiest way to carry him now that he's too big to be tucked under my arm. Then I sat out on the two mile trek back to the truck in the parking lot. I'm really not kidding.

As I walked past the auditorium, I saw a blue light and was drawn to the open exterior door. Across the large foyer, the door to the auditorium was propped open, probably for the cool night air. Standing there outside with the dog in my arms, I had a perfect view of my lovely daughter from stage right, pantomiming a scene from "Our Town". She was in full costume with her ashy blonde hair piled on top of her head, my Capezios peeking out from under the full skirt. It was quiet, and I was winded, so I stood there and watched the silent scene.

I watched maybe five minutes before it occurred to me that hubby probably wondered where the hell I had gone. I started at a fast pace back toward the parking lot just to see him, in her truck, coming along the path Jack and I had run. He was quite amused and quipped that he would have liked to see me chase Jack. Smart ass.

We retrieved the VW and parked her truck near the auditorium under a streetlight. I drove hubby around behind the auditorium to show him where I spied on our daughter. We watched for a few minutes from the car as she poured transparent liquid from a non-existent pitcher into imaginary glasses. I felt calm and serene, sitting in the dark with my husband and our dog, watching her in that ethereal blue light.

Jack almost always comes when I call him. I like to think there was a reason he didn't tonight. Without that little wild chase, I would never have seen her like that, bathed in blue light, blonde hair shining, pale skin shimmering, her performance peaceful in a way it will never be when I can hear her words.


wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

What a lovely image! Sometimes when we catch our children when they don't know we're looking, we can see them as perhaps others do. And it can be so wonderful.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

From someone who has spirit guidance, I would most definitely say Jack was being beckoned to go just a little bit further so you could witness that beautiful scene of your daughter. Every thing in life happens for a reason.

Crystal xx

laurie said...

so jake gave you a gift after all! what a lovely post.

i've read that if your dog won't come when he's off-leash, you're supposed to just lie down in the grass. he'll get curious and come to you and you can nab him.

it's true that when i lie down in the grass, riley does come and nuzzle my face to see if i'm still alive. but when he runs off i've never had the courage to just lie down and see what happens. too worried about cars, etc.

but you could try it in your yard, maybe. if it's fenced....

i'm so glad you nabbed him. he must be feeling better.

Kim said...

It was wonderful, WUASTC, partially because it was so unexpected. She is almost grown, and these moments will be few and far between for me soon.

I think you're right, Crystal. There were several other ways he could have gone.

Thanks, Laurie. I'm glad you liked it. I think I'll try the lying down thing in the dog park. That is about the only place he goes into a full on run.

She's like the wind said...

I love when you actually watch your children, not just spending everyday with them, but actually watching and taking note and at that moment we are overcome with pleasure and love at their sight.
Lovely post, although I'm sorry to say I did giggle at the thought of you chasing the dog, I bet that was a site LOL x

Kim said...

self employed mum, I completely agree. Thanks, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Are you a smart ass like my husband? ;)

Laurie, I forgot to say that, yes, Jack is so much better. He doesn't like the prescription food but he eats it like a trooper. He is getting lots of quick walks just in case he feels the call of nature, and that makes him quite happy. He's also quite fond of the peanut butter he's getting with his pills morning and evening. I think he might develop a habit.

the rotten correspondent said...

What a magical moment that must have been. Some of the most wonderful views of my kids that I've had have been in the same type situation - where they have no idea you're there and you can watch in peace.

Good dog, Jack. Well, kind of.

lady macleod said...

I LOVE THIS STORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes the Universe tells us, we just have to listen.

jason evans said...

She might of left the lights on, eh? That's not like a problem, is it?

He he. At least it ended with a magic moment. I'm sure you'll never forget that feeling.

Kim said...

He is a good dog, RC. Mostly.

You're right, Lady M. We just have to slow down and listen.

Yeah, Jason, what can I say? She's 16.

You're all right. It was a wonderful moment and I won't forget it. I am glad you all enjoyed it and that I was able to share it with you.

Fire Byrd said...

synchronicity is all.... what a clever dog.what a wonderful sight what a lucky mum!!

Kim said...

Yes, pixie, a very lucky one. Thanks for stopping by.

bermudabluez said...

My heart was in my throat as I read about Jack taking off...then it ended on such a good note! Beautiful story!

The Green Stone Woman said...

Daughters are magic, aren't they? So are the dogs who lead you to them!

Kim said...

Welcome, bermudabluez. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Yes, they are, sweet irene. The dog is pretty great, too. Thanks so much for visiting.