I swim laps — twice a week — after dropping Isabelle off at school. There’s a pool in the same complex as her school so she likes to accompany me to the locker room before I drop her off with her teacher.
I have no idea why she likes going to the locker room. Let’s be honest: it smells like feet. But she enjoys watching me put my things away in a locker before I take her to class. Most of the time no one is there so we just chat for a few minutes while I put my things away. No one is being hurt by this (except for her olfactory sense) so I indulge her locker room requests whenever we get to the complex with time to spare.
This morning, just before we left the house, I noticed Isabelle was busy cutting the corners off of some construction paper and affixing stickers to the same paper.
“What are you doing?” I asked. “It’s almost time to go.”
“I’m gonna give this to someone in the locker room.”
“Who? There’s usually no one in there.”
“Someone will be there,” she replied.
“How do you know?” I asked.
She didn’t answer me. She kept on working until I said, “Come in to put socks and sneakers on!”
The pitter-patter of feet came down the hallway with her masterpiece in-hand. I tried not to roll my eyes. There were Bad Kitty stickers all over the paper. Just what a random adult would want from a random kid.
* * * * *
After I swiped my membership card at the front desk, I asked Isabelle, “What will you say when you hand the paper to someone?”
“You’re not going to just shove the paper in someone’s face, right? I know you do that sometimes when you give away your art. You have to say something first.”
“What are you going to say?”
Still no response as we walked down the stairs. Was she ignoring me?
“Are you going to say ‘this is for you’ or will you just shove the paper at the person?” I inquired.
“I’m going to say, ‘I made this for you.'”
“Great!” I replied.
Isabelle insisted on opening the door to the women’s locker room. “After you,” she said.
I giggled. How old is she?
We walked in and Isabelle beelined to the only woman in the locker room — who was in the middle of getting undressed! Before I could even ask Isabelle to give her a moment to get her clothes on, Isabelle walked right over to her and said, “Hi, I made this for you.”
“For me?” the half-clothed woman said.
“Yes!” Isabelle declared.
“Did you make it by yourself or did your mom help?” the gracious woman inquired as she donned her pants.
“By myself,” Isabelle said proudly.
“Well, thank you,” the lady said.
“You’re welcome,” Isabelle responded.
The lady got dressed as I unloaded my swim bag into the locker. Just as she got ready to leave she told Isabelle, “I’m going to hang this on my wall when I get to work later.”
“Okay,” was all Isabelle said. But honestly, I think that made her day.