Jogging Around the Issue

little girl in dress running awayJill was trying to stay in shape for soccer and had been working in a daily jog. She and I ventured out to the warmth of the late afternoon and followed the faint sounds of children playing. At a shady riverside park, we found a path meandering through freshly cut grass that looked like a perfect running path. Nearby, energetic kids grasped chains and begged to be pushed to the sky as a group of young men juggled a soccer ball. Under the shade of a nearby tree I sat on a wooden bench as Jill sprung off.

She finished her first round. “Hey Dad.”

“Hey Sis.”

She’d made several laps around the park, each time saying a quick hello. Her oversized t-shirt and baggy shorts looked so opposite of the provocative attire I’d seen on most Italian girls. The sun’s setting rays shined on her pony tail which swiveled back and forth with each step.

My baby girl.

She looked older than fourteen. I could only pray that I’d given her all the right tools she needed to deal with the coming years. A few months earlier, she’d told me that the girls that dressed “slutty” got most of the attention at school. I could not resist giving her my two-cents on that topic and insisted she not worry because the boys saw those girls as nothing more than a cheeseburger. A horny boy sees cleavage the same way he looks at melted cheddar or bacon on a bun. Once he finishes eating, he burps and moves on.

On the next round, Jill took a break and grabbed the water bottle balancing on my arm rest. “Did you see those guys playing soccer?” she asked, out of breath.

“No.” I lied.

She took a sip and sat down. “Right there Dad, see?”

“Oh, yeah.”

“One kept staring at me.”

“They’re too old for you Sissy.”

She pivoted to face me. “Dad, I have something to tell you.”

A sharp pang of nervous energy shot through me.

She punched my knee in reassurance. “Don’t worry, this is good news. Remember a few months ago when I told you that I was going to start scouting around for a boyfriend?”

I nodded.

“Well . . . I’ve changed my mind.”

Thank you God. “Really?”

She took another sip and offered her bottle to me.

“Boys my age are too immature. They are skinny and look like children. I’m interested in men – you know real men, guys with muscles – like those guys.

NEXT: Illegal Shades



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