Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Meet "Ida"

Please allow me to to introduce you to an alter ego of mine. Her name is Ida, Ida Juana.

She's five.

She tends to show up at certain times of the day when I'm turning my attention to something good for myself or for the home-- cleaning up my clutter, doing laundry, exercising, doing the next round on a painting.

When she sees me getting ready for any of these, she decides it's time to remind me of her name. This morning, it was while getting dressed to ride my bike the 10 miles into town:

"Ida Juana!"

The first time she says it is soft and quiet because she knows that in the past, one mention is all it took to get me to drop whatever I was doing and turn my attention to her. Lately, she's had to repeat herself a few times.

Her timing is also exquisite. She always says her name right before I actually commence the activity-- in that very moment before I commit-- when there's still wiggle room to change my mind and do her bidding (which often involves me reading a cheap novel to her while she downs a bag of chips or the last box of Girl Scout cookies).

She's also very good-- especially for a five-year-old -- at taking advantage of external circumstances.

This morning it was NPR's weather forecast: hot and humid.

As images of a hot and sweaty bike ride passed before my awareness, her voice began to sound amazingly like my own as she repeated her name:

"Ida Juana!"

But here's the deal. She's five. I'm fifty. I've got a few on her. The result: I'm writing this from downtown after a great first 10 miles along the tow path.

Yes, I'm hot, sweaty and overheated but I'm also enjoying a perfectly made double dry cappuccino, sitting in an air-conditioned office and feeling quite good for responding to Idea with:

"I hear you, Ida Juana. I know your name. I haven't forgotten it. And today, we're going for a bike ride."

She attempted to change my mind with a few more repetitions of her name, but I persisted. And ultimately even she had a good time, especially when we saw the two geese leading their six gosling across the tow path. That shut her up for awhile.

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