Before Amber Alerts

She was told how fun it would be to watch the parade in small town Fredericksburg, Texas. “Exciting for a four-year-old.”

“Look at that float!” “Carolyn, do you see the clown?”

No. All she saw was the backsides of wiggly people in front of her. The tall, thin man’s suspenders holding up the back of his pants. Arms that pointed to the sky holding miniature American flags.

But she could see behind her – from the grassy field all the way up to the sky.

And there it was. Something she could lay eyes on. Something she found curious and exciting.

She let go of the hem of her grandmother’s, hand-sewn, polka-dot house dress and began to run.

How did he get up there?

Would the man hurt himself when landed?

She continued on, her eyes following the man’s decent from the sky.

The pokey grass would not deter her. Nor the buzzing of summer wasps around her head. The near collisions with jumping grasshoppers were not a distraction.

The man was getting closer.

Panting, yet familiar voices frantically called her name.

When her parents and sister caught up to her, Carolyn pointed to the man.

They were right.

Exciting for a four-year-old.

me parachute

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