I do have one regret from yesterday.
Early on in the day as I was rowing along I met a little girl, probably 6 or so. She had the brightest smile and the sweetest manor. She was traveling with her brother, I’d say around 11, and their parents. She saw Anoki and lit up, so I began to talk to them. She quickly accepted that he was a puppet and was not phased by this fact. She complimented me on my “ship” and took me up on my offer to row. We rowed a big circle around the family and then “docked”. I then went to my knees and gave both kids a message in a bottle. The little girl and I then continued our conversation. She explained that her brother has a laboratory with a laser and a real time machine. I accepted this as fact instantly. The concerned brother stepped up to me and felt it important to inform me with a whisper in the ear that they aren’t really real but that it’s kind of like a trick, but he doesn’t want to disappoint her. I looked at him and calmly said “I understand”. At this I directed some questions to the expert on the lab and had him tell me more of his time machine, he grinned, as did the parents, and he then expounded upon her story. He was very careful to state that it was currently out of fuel and that time machine fuel is very expensive and hard to get. “Oh absolutely, we all understand those prices for fuel!” The parents laughed. The sister then took back control when she remembered an exciting piece of information. “Last year I was on a real ship here!” “Oh her magistys ship the Dreadnought?” She looked confused. “The big one over there in the water?” I then pointed towards the Dreadnought. The girl looked pensive for a moment and responded, “No it had sand” “Ahhh yes over in kids kingdom, I know the ship you speak of”
“Yeah and there was a guy on it, uhh… rahh… Rahhj…” “Ahhh yes, Rodger Raliegh, good sailor, know em well.” Her eyes brightened, “Ahh but ya know Rodger is off to sea this year.” She looked disappointed at this news, “But! His cousin Artemus is there, and you know what… “, I leaned in and motioned her closer, “I think he is a bit of a wizard! But you tell him you’re friends with Rodger and I bet he’ll be happy to hear it” “oh!!!”, she exclaimed, “Then he can teach me some wizard spells!” “I bet he can!” At that she seemed excited and she started to head off to kids kingdom, family in tow. She then stopped turned and looked as if to hug me, stopped short of that, then said, “You’re my favorite!” “awww thankee lass! You have a wonderful day!”
At this point you may be wondering where the bad was?
Later in the day I was passing kids kingdom, with my friends from Port Washington. I heard this forcefull yet cheery, “Hello!” Ian and I looked down to discover my little friend and her enormous smile grinning back up at us. “Come on! Lets go sail on the ship!” While Ian and I had stopped TJ and Gerard, in front of us had continued on unaware of our unexpected stop. I weighed my options. I know from past experience, that if I set foot in Kids Kingdom I’ll be there for at least an hour before I can manage to get myself out. (Ok, Yeah I’m a sucker…) I glanced over at Ian, and he seemed to understand and so I asked her if the ship was ready to sail. “Uhhh yes, absolutely!” “And you swabbed the deck?” Ian confirmed the importance of this task. The girl, not wanting to lose us insisted that it was indeed swabbed. We then tossed out another nautical task, and at this she said she would go check, and ran off to the ship with a “Come on!” trailing behind her. Ian and I looked at each other and then moved to catch up with the rest of our group. We both agreed that under different circumstances we would have stayed and played around some, but we had a limited amount of time and this was probably for the best. Still, I found myself glancing back a few times to see if she was back looking for us.
I just hope I didn’t disappoint her to badly. I still feel kinda guilty for dismissing her as she was a really sweet kid. Should I have gone with her?
2 thoughts on “A slight thorn on the rose”
I don’t think you were in any way obligated to go with her, and you had friends and plans, and thus should have gone on with them, as you did. It’s really difficult to get out of situations like that, especially when put on the spot as she did. Every child wants playmates, and you’re a GREAT playmate! But that doesn’t mean you’re always available.
You’ve a TON of pre-thought-out responses to lots of other scenarios. Guess it’s time to add a few more gentler versions of “sorry kid, I’m busy” hmmm… could your captain be expecting you? Or perhaps you’ve already pledged your time to another…
*hugs* difficult situation, though…
You can’t be everywhere at once and that’s a fact. The best excuse is that you have to report to your captain about [supplies, rum, sails or “rope,” etc.] but maybe you’ll see her later. That’s your out and no promises to keep. Just like dating in the 80’s. (Whups!)
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