“Go slow, Gabby. You’re going to fast! Slow down!”
That plea came from two-year-old Carter, who had no clue what he was getting into when he agreed to a walk with the speedster, Gabrielle. She just grabbed his hand and took off. It was improvised and without precedent, much like an episode of LOST. So of course, to us parents, the scene was as soft and cuddly as a basket full of Snuggles.
Let me set it up. Gabby and I were tailgating before the big Appalachian-The Citadel game two Saturdays ago. The wife was off shopping down the mountain, and the preteen is allergic to all things athletic. Getting her to a football game is slightly less difficult than getting Ashlee Simpson to hit the right note. I’ve given up trying (and so should Ashlee).
So with Take-Your-Daughter-To-A-Tailgate Day underway, we joined friends on campus and had a good ‘ole time. Carter is the son of a great and true friend, and it’s been fun to watch the two together. Whilist the adults did what adults do at a tailgate (drink, dish and dally), the youngins did what youngins do at a tailgate (laugh, lounge and lallygag).
At one point, Gabby decided she wanted to go for a walk. This is a trend I’ve just recently noticed. When she wants to go somewhere, she comes over and grabs a finger. Then like Rudolph, she leads you to wherever she wants to go (usually it’s to the closest animal in sight. I about never got her away from Adopt-A-Pet day at Lowes Hardware).
With daddy preoccupied – but ever-watchful, mind you – Gabby went over to Carter, took a thumb and headed off. He didn’t resist, either because he too wanted to go for a walk or he was simply in shock. He didn’t get a chance to say no.
Thus headed off about the cutest scene imaginable in a parking lot full of tents, tailgates and trucks – two lil friends, hand in hand, walking down the sidewalk. Even Clint Eastwood would have squealed in fawning delight.
I grabbed my camera and, with Carter’s mom at my side, shadowed the two. They just walked along silently, looking at everything and nothing. Eventually they came near the end of the walk. We enticed them to turn around. I clicked along the way. I eventually got a lead on them and squatted for more photos. To Gabby a challenge was issued – who can be the first to get da-da!
Without breaking her hold she barreled head-first my way. That’s when Carter got alarmed. Not seriously, mind you, but enough to know he should be weary of a strong-willed woman! (Like her mother, like daughter).
I should note that Carter and Gabrielle do have a sweet backstory. She was just a few months old when she got her first boy hug. Since then I introduce Carter as Gabby’s future prom date. You never know. I can see it now. A teen-age Gabby seizing the hand of the team quarterback and dragging him kicking and screaming to the dance floor. (Like his father, like son).