One of the usual routes I walk with the girls has new construction along the way. A big project: a multi-story mixed use building with underground parking. There has been a lot of excavating going on to dig down for the garage; big trucks coming and going, taking the dirt away. To help manage the disrupted local traffic, the construction company has someone at the main entrance directing traffic to assist the trucks.

The girls and I walk by this main entrance during work hours. The lone flagger - dressed head to toe in bright yellow waterproof outer layers, an orange safety vest, and yellow hard hat over the hood of his jacket, spies us coming from several feet away. I see a smile crease his brown face and his dark eyes sparkle with amusement as he watches us approach.

I can spot a dog-lover from a hundred paces.

As the girls and I get close to him, I smile - letting him know that yes, we're friendly.

"Snow dogs!" he says with delight, then adding, "My favorite movie is Eight Below!" 

I'm so pleasantly surprised by this statement that I laugh out loud as the girls pull me toward him to say hello. They, too, can tell a dog-lover at a hundred paces. 

"This one is named Maia," I say, pointing to my oldest girl. "Like the lead dog in the movie!" 

Maia in front, Meadow sniffing (2009)

We keep moving because a truck is coming from inside the construction site and the man needs to do his job. But as we walk a few more yards down the road, I hear him shouting in a sing-song voice, "Maiiiiiaaahhhhhhh!" 

I'm beaming as the girls and I continue on our walk.

I love these unexpected and joyous moments. Life's simple gifts.

[As I'm writing this, the Discovery series Frozen Planet is on the TV nearby. Maia is watching a segment about arctic wolves hunting ducks and hares; literally watching pups play with the adults of a pack. Maia has always been fascinated with wolves and dogs on TV; she will watch, with interest. As soon as the wolves are no longer on the screen, she turns away. Meadow and Finn don't seem to ever notice.]

Rebecca WallickComment