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Yesterday was my birthday.  I didn’t do any work, and it was the first day of first grade for my daughter.

It often happens that this day dawns cool and a tiny bit crisp; fall is just around the corner.  Yesterday was no exception and to top it off, it was a still, cloudless sky that deepens to blueprint blue at dusk.  Mid-80’s, a perfect day.

My husband and I escorted the little one to school and saw familiar faces all around.  Everyone was smiling and laughing; whatever unflattering things you could say about Summer 2010 and its .  .  .  hideous agenda .  .  . it was possible to put them aside on the first day of school.

After the classroom doors closed we walked away with our friends, Colorado state representative Mr. ____________ and his lovely wife, Mrs. ____________.   We’d stopped at the crosswalk where two of us would peel off to our car and the others would continue on foot.

In my peripheral vision something was happening so I turned and what?  What is that, and does it weigh even a pound?  Coming right for us across a big parking lot: a crumb of a chihuahua on full tilt, all black-and-blonde high gloss and moving parts, radiating pure joy at this carefree dash for the sake of dashing and now, in the distance, a woman’s blonde head appeared above the parked cars as the two men reflexively knelt in an attempt to put a stop! to the madness.

A puppy.  Slithering through the first pair of hands he was at last restrained by the right honorable Mr. Etc. who then picked him up and started toward his person.  The chihuahua was supremely, gloriously, tremblingly delighted with himself, beaming proudly from the safety of the stranger’s arm all the way through the hand-off.  Insane?  Sure, why not?  But ultimately he was safe, wasn’t he; he took himself on a joyride and he pulled it off.

You can think everything has meaning or you can think oh, just a chihuahua on a pretty day.   I choose to see it as something young and new, launching itself joyful and unrestrained and fearless on the glorious first day of my personal New Year.

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