I Pledge Allegiance to the Blue Shoes Girl
I pledged allegiance to a little girl in blue shoes yesterday. We all did. The crossing guard shot off the curb with her whistle in her mouth and her white gloves and her nouveau authority. All the cars stopped for one little girl with blue shoes who was a little late for school.
She had no idea that all the cars were waiting on her. She stepped off the curb with exaggerated caution, like she was sticking a toe in cold water. Halfway across, something on the ground caught her eye, and she bent over to look at it. The crossing guard had to beep her whistle and give her a head jerk to keep her moving.
And then I swear she used three different walks to get to the other side. There was a skippy little pony-walk, a bunny-hop or two, and finally some kind of slap-happy thing that I'm pretty sure is from a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
There was a flash of blue and a backpack slapping on a tiny bottom, and then she was gone.
Little blue shoes girl, you do not know who you are, but we know, and we are struck dumb. We can only stare through the parted waters as you dance your way across the Jordan.
Did you know we have a law for you? We made a law so that on our worst days we would not forget. Even on the days when we think being at work on time is more important than little girls in blue shoes, a woman with gloves and a whistle will stop us and make us remember who you are.
Some of us say there is something eternal about you, something we call a soul. We don't exactly know what we mean by that; it might be our way of saying you are eleventy-hundred infinity good. But if there is anything eternal in you, any scent of the creator lying soft on the back of your neck, then you are worth more than all the gold and all the mountains and all the world.
Some of us do not believe in souls and do not like to throw words like eternal around carelessly, but we can't deny that you are the most amazing thing we have ever seen. In all our searching and in throwing the best we have at looking deep and far, you pausing in the street to examine whatever it was that interested you is the rarest mystery of all. We've only seen this once, and it's right here at home, right here in your little heart.
No one knows what you will be when you grow up. You may be a force for good in this world, or you may bring great evil upon us. You have that power. You have those choices, and this is why we stop and stare.
But whatever you do, or whatever is done to you, on November 13th 2003, you were the little girl with blue shoes who carried unthinkable goodness across the street.
No one is able to take that away from you.