"Elsa," she said.
"Right, like Elsa," I agreed, then turned to the girl's mom. "She's thinks your daughter looks like Elsa."
The mom beamed and told me that's the Goal Every Day: To Look Like Elsa.
"Do kids prefer Elsa?" I asked her.
"Mine do," she said. "I like Anna better."
"Me too," I agreed. "Although, I guess I do like some things about Elsa ..."
I imagined that scene where she is singing "Let It Go" and building her isolation castle from ice crystals and she stomps her foot and a circle of gorgeous icy floor builds around her.
"She's the most powerful woman in the world," I always say wistfully to Chacha, for reasons that still aren't quite clear.
Anyway, back at the track I looked at the mom and said:
"What if you'd told us in 1994 that someday we'd be standing on a track debating the merits of Disney princesses?"
And then there was polite laughter, so I exited via the trap door.
(Trapdoor=Actually, I just kneeled down on the track to Chacha's eye level and re-tied her hood and wondered why making small talk with other parents always takes an awkward turn.)
So she ran, anyway, and I ran backward in front of her reminding her to use her arms, which she alternately straightened and swung and then bent and shadow boxed with no relation to her leg movement. Today's life lesson: There is a such thing as thinking too hard about running. She saw the Norwegian Wonder at the turn and veered in toward her, but I got her back on task.
She went home with a new ribbon, a shirt covered in purple popsicle and big tears because I'd decided we were NOT going to stop at the Co-op.
"Go to the Co-op! Go to the Co-op! Go to the Co-op" she sing-song sobbed until I distracted her by asking her to count how many dogs we saw on the way home.
*I just invented a new series in which I spend 15 minutes typing and zero minutes thinking about what I'm typing. Enjoy!