Just say go


 The race was on! It was just the two of them but it made no difference. The determined look on her face was so serious. His toothy grin showed his confidence of taking the win. Their cheeks were red and foreheads sweaty as they waited to hear the word “go!”

“She gets a head start because she’s two years younger than you.”

“Fine, I’ll still smoke her!” he responded.

“You have to run around the garage too.” Rolling his eyes he agreed to the rules, “Just say go twice so I know when I can run.” 

“Ready, set, go!” I yell cheerfully. She took off in the wrong direction confusing all three of us. “Come back and we will start again.” I tell her giggling at the silliness. She returns to the start line, hands on her hips like I had sent her in the wrong direction. “Run around the house and back to here as fast as you can ok?” I asked. She nods her head, eager for the restart. “Go again!” I shout and this time she bolts in the correct direction. Her chubby little legs pumping up and down in sync with her chunky arms she tore around the first corner. I could hear her feet pounding the ground until she made the second turn just past the air conditioning unit.

“Go!” I shouted again and he was off like a heat-seeking missile. His lean arms and legs sharply contrasted hers and were seriously engaged in the race.  He was making tracks to catch his opponent with the head start and less ground to cover. They both disappeared around the front of the house and I turned to watch for their reappearance.

She made the final turn of the lap, leaping onto the stepping stones separating the house from the garage. I had a brief glimpse of him as he zipped by to round the garage. He impressed me with his speed. She took the last few steps, slowing down as she came to the finish line. “Yes!” she shouted, raising her hands in the air as a sign of sweet victory. He came from behind the garage just in time to see her triumphant finish. Not slowing down, he threw himself to the ground rolling across the finish with enthusiasm only a seven year old could possess.

His spectacular finish did not impress her. She pointed to his jeans and said, “You got dirty knees now.”

“Yeah, I know.” He responded while I calculated how much prewash would be needed to get the stains out. Slightly winded but showing no sign of defeat he leaped to his feet. “Aunt Pattie, will you say go again?” he asked.

“Absolutely!” I answered, wondering how many laps it would take for them to be ready for bed at 8PM.


Go ahead...take a swing. I'll duck and listen.

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