Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
Remember being a little kid, maybe just past toddler-hood but before too-cool adolescence, getting chased by your daddy or big sibling? He would be running behind you taunting, "I'm gonna getcha!" and you were overwhelmed with giggles that might literally burst out of your mouth? You could barely get one giggle out before the next one came along.
Clint and I were jogging into downtown today.... correction: Clint was biking and I was jogging into downtown today--and he called after me, "I'm gonna getcha!", threatening to catch up to me. Then I thought about how my biggest brother Andrew used to play Shark in the pool with me and I would get this overwhelming urge to giggle and run. (I also got anxiety but I think that's not typical of most kids. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I was the only one on the school yard who panicked during tag.) It didn't even matter what we were doing or why he was chasing me. For some reason, a child's DNA is encoded with so much innocence and play that if someone threatens playful pursuit, kids giggle and book it. Have you ever noticed that? You could be with the grumpiest kid in the world... and if you pause just long enough for the mood to settle and then say, with a mischievous grin (not a pedophile grin but a fun grin), "I'm gonna getcha!" his mood will undoubtedly perk up. He'll know exactly what game you're playing and be ready to beat the odds.
It dawned on me the next time I get to play chase, I'll be on the other side of that game. I got pretty excited thinking about that. Reasons are twofold: 1) I get to play chase without feeling that surge of panic and 2) it's so much fun, especially hearing a little kid's giggle bursting out uncontrollably to the point of squeal.
So, future little shit... get yourself some good shoes (that's right, buy your own darn shoes) and I'll promise to stay in shape cause chase just might be the easiest and funnest game for anyone in single digits. I don't want you to miss out on that!
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