How long have I watched you work here? It must be coming up on a year now. You don’t even know I see you, but 10 AM and 3 PM are red letter points on the clock for me. That’s when you walk by with a yellow rope in your hand. You are always smiling. You brush the hair out of your eyes so I can see them, squinted and sparkling. Not many people have that sparkle that you have in your eyes. And your smile, oh your smile! It’s very special. There is one for every person you pass by, and there is one for each kid hanging onto that yellow rope. They know it too, that when you smile at them, that is their special smile to have and to hold forever.

You smiled at me once. I have kept that smile locked in a box under my bed. Late at night it comes out and whispers sweet dreams to me while I’m sleeping.

You and your line of ducklings walk by the glass walls of my office twice a day. The children trail behind you, listening to your every word. They have bright eyes as they look at the sunroof of the palladium, the trees that grow there, and the bright marble decorations you point out. This is a big world to them, but they are fearless when they’re holding onto your magic rope! Oh to be a child! My hand would catch a knot on that rope and I would allow you to lead me anywhere you desired. I would not fear as long as you lead the way.

Sometimes I stop by the day care in this office building, usually just in time to hear the day’s story. I lean over the divider and rest my head on my hand, like so many other parents checking up on their children. I listen to you read to them. Your voice is loud and clear and full of melody. You spin them songs of things both fantastic and real. We all sit there, slack jawed and doe eyed in awe of the worlds you create for us day after day.

I love the sun dresses you wear. You are always wearing red, or some variation on it. Sometimes you wear pink, sometimes you wear lavender. Never orange. You are magnetic and shimmering in your cottons and wools and acetate. You know each of these children, that they will want you to dress with color and texture.

You draw us in and intoxicate us with every part of you. We love you for it. But it occurs to me, as you walk by with your magic rope, that the best part about you is that you don’t even know how great you are.

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