The little girl was afraid to go down the slide. Bright green, perhaps two yards in length, she would climb up and sit at the top but not let go of the bars.
There's a moment as a mom, a lot of them really, when you see in your daughter the mother that she will become and this was mine. My 16 year-old daughter is an athlete, fearless, and won't take nonsense from anyone. I watched her climb up the stairs and sit down behind the girl and try to convince her to let her hold her as she went down. But it was not going to happen, at least while I watched.
She was gentle and kind, but would not push the little girl. About 2 years-old, half Asian and half white she had ivory skin and a smile that appeared little by little, as though she could not give all of herself at one time. The girl wasn't crying or stubborn and she respected my daughter but wasn't going to do what she was afraid of.
I sat on the bench with the dog watching the two of them and wanted to cry. She would be a wonderful mother. Her patience was natural, her love of the little girl simple and pure. I hope I have the chance to see that side of her with a daughter of her own.