Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word


It was another exciting Grammy day with Petra, and the playland at McDonalds was hoppin’ with activity. Most of the older kids had gone back to school, so the place was full of grandparents and smaller children. My little charge was sporting a new dress, compliments of her Aunt Mihyun and Uncle Nathan. Unable to decide which pair of flip-flops best completed the ensemble, she was wearing two different flip-flops, and was adamant about placing them neatly in the shoe bin.There was another young girl with an equally puffy dress, and she and Petra took turns jumping off the step and watching their dresses fly up. I think they believed they were flying. A trio of older children showed up, and the girl, about seven or so, immediately took to Petra and the other young one, and as happens with little and big girls, they quickly formed the dynamic of the older girl helping the younger ones scale the slide, crawl over the fences, and generally being at their beck and call.

I relaxed and sipped my diet Coke and took the chance to do some people watching. The older girl had two brothers, pretty close in age, with the older boy being around eight or nine. I think they were involved in a child exchange, as the mom sat in the lobby and the father came in to have lunch with the kids. After eating, the man stood up and announced he had to get back to work, and the kids hugged him and he left the playland.

A few seconds later there was an incredibly loud wailing sound coming from the back of the playland. Myself, and several other Grammies, instinctively covered our ears as we realized someone had breached the security of the playland doors, and the increasingly loud sound was that of the emergency alarm, letting us know someone had tried to escape. The kids scattered like rats, each one running to their guardian with scared looks on their faces. Petra immediately took a seat next to me, and looked at me with eyes that said “I didn’t do it.”

None of the kids seemed afraid, but they all seemed to naturally know that someone had done something wrong, and it was important to them that it be known they hadn’t done it. They looked at each other wide-eyed and accusingly. I noticed the young boy I had seen with his father earlier stood nervously by the door. His cheeks were red with embarrassment, but he didn’t flee. His eyes darted around to all of us, probably looking for whoever was in charge. I expected him to split as soon as no one addressed him, but he nervously paced back and forth in front of the door. I finally made eye contact with him, and he seemed relieved to confess his sin. He was clearly afraid of whatever consequences came with opening a security door.

“I did that. That was me.” He said, on the verge of tears.

“Aw, well, it was bound to happen. No worries,” I tried to make him feel better.

“I was saying good bye to my dad,” He explained as the alarm continued to blare. He stood his ground even as he looked around, waiting for the authorities to come take him away for committing such a horrendous crime. Finally, the lobby guy who cleans the playland, an elderly gent, sauntered into the playland and slowly worked his way across the room to the door. He inserted a key, turned it and the alarm ended. It clearly wasn’t the first time someone had opened the forbidden door, and I don’t think he even cared who did it.

But that young boy did. He was adamant about owning up to his mistake, and equally adamant about taking any punishment that came with it. He stood directly in front of the  older man and confessed again.

“That was me. I did  that. I was trying to say good bye to my dad.” He waited silently for his punishment.

“Well, don’t touch the security doors.” And with that, the old man went back to work and the young man breathed a sigh of relief and a big grin spread over his face. He had owned his crime, confessed to his sin, and was let off with a warning. He had to feel pretty good about himself. He had done the right thing.

Our country’s leaders, celebrities and athletes could learn a thing or two about maturity and integrity from this young fellow. And he wasn’t even ten years old yet.

August 19, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Artist is Born

For some reason, that has not been explained sufficiently to me, some of the children in Colorado are out of school for the week, Ashley and Mitchell being two of them. So they boarded the train with Tim and came downtown, where I was rewarded with some quality family/Tabba time as we wandered the 16th Street Mall. I headed down early to visit the Tattered Cover bookstore and indulge in a little people watching as I lounged on the bench in front of the bookstore and read. I was not disappointed, as all manner of tourists, teens, punks, vagabonds and lovers strolled the mall.
Lunch was the first matter at hand when the clan arrived, and, unable to decide on one mutually satisfying cuisine, we rode the shuttle up the mall to the hot dog/breakfast burrito vendor, where Mitch and I got burritos and Diet Pepsi’s, then hitched the shuttle back down a block to McDonald’s where Tim and Ashley emerged with a Halloween Happy Meal. We walked a block to the plaza, where we enjoyed our fare as we watched people playing Ping-Pong on the plaza.
The conversation was pretty casual—work, teenage drama, or lack of, a little bit of politics. Until Princess Ashley asked the question no one else dared.
“So, uh, Tabba. Who are you going to vote for for president? Obama or Romney?”
Wow, that’s quite the question for a six-year-old. And with such a serious face. I was caught a little off guard, and I think Tim may have been as well. I’m not always the best at being politically correct, but to be politically correct with a six year old required even more thought.
“Well, Ashley, if you could vote, who would you vote for?” Ha, perfect answer. I’m sure my mom would give me kudos for following some form of early childhood development path that involved re-directing.
Ashley thought for a minute, then, in a non-committal kind of way, stated “I think Obama.”
“Why?” Tim and I both couldn’t resist the secret behind her thoughts.
“Oh, he just seems really nice. Nicer than the other one.”
There it was, that simple, he seemed nice in the eyes of a child. Not a lot to argue about politically there. We finished our meals and went to throw our trash away, which is when we discovered the Mall Ambassador. He sat behind a wall of glass, in a small cubicle crowded with books, brochures and stacks of board games. When we inquired about the ping-pong, he informed us that not only could we play ping-pong for free, he also offered up games such as parcheesi, checkers, and chess, which Mitch quickly talked Tim into playing. They sat contemplating each others moves, while the ambassador sent Ashley and I to a table with a full box of new crayons, and each with a picture of the downtown Denver skyline.
We colored for about an hour, casually chatting, Ashley sharing her thoughts about the money museum, autumn and the colors in her picture as we colored. We finished our pictures, and the ambassador said he was impressed with our work—we were the only ones he’d ever seen finish coloring the whole page. He offered to hang our colorings in the window of his shack—I let him hang mine but Ash decided to take hers home. We hit the ping-pong table for some much-needed practice, but only lasted a short while, during which we spent way more time chasing the ball around the plaza than actually volleying it over the net.
Before I knew it the day was gone and it was time for the clan to head back to the burbs. We parted with hugs at the shuttle stop, and I headed up the hill as they headed down the hill. It was indeed a great day, and my picture was officially hanging in the shack for all tourists to see…

October 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment