Dear Tucker's Dad,
I was feeling somewhat vulnerable and invisible, anticipating yet another change to my everchanging body. Rolling around the neighborhood, going fast, was to clear my head. I saw you and your son from a distance. He with his brightly colored bike helmet and shiny new scooter. You sitting attentively on the curb, baseball hat slightly askew. As I got closer I could hear words of encouragement as your son was trying out his scooter for the first time.
I rolled on by as the three of us said the obligatory "hellos" as neighbors do. Then I heard "you should race HER!" I immediately slowed and turned around. Smiling, I approached you and your son and said "would you like to race?" Your son's eyes lit up as he looked to you for approval, nodding your head and smiling back at him.
"Hi. What's your name?"
"My name is Tucker."
"Hi Tucker. My name is Deb."
"Hi Deb," you responded.
And with the same intonation Tucker responded "Hi Deb."
Tucker then began to tell me all about his scooter, and how it was his first time riding it, and how he was already fast. You sat there smiling, letting Tucker and I have a conversation as two new friends do.
We did race. Tucker won. After the race both you and Tucker said "bye Deb", and I rolled away.
A few days later I bumped into you and Tucker again. He was once again decked out in bike helmet and scooter. The two of you greeted me like an old friend, and Tucker told me all about how he has been practicing and getting faster. You mentioned that Tucker had been talking about how fast I rolled away the other day. We talked a little more and said our goodbyes.
What you gave to me and Tucker the other day is priceless. Allowing Tucker to become "my friend" and relate to me as a person - not to be feared, not to 'get out of her way'', not to 'watch out' - made me feel visible. And what you taught Tucker in that instant! He learned that people like me are approachable with value and gifts, just like the rest of the population.
Thank you Tucker's Dad for making my days a little brighter.