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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Revenge of Luigi....

I have to share this story with everyone because it blurs the line between the humorous and that part of us as parents or adults in general that feel bad for little ones when something happens that genuinely knocks them off kilter but again….we find some humor in it.
We live in a planned community that was built in the early 80s and is still sprawling today. The community consists of about 7 or 8 neighborhoods of varying price tags but most everyone here is just middle income America. In these typical areas, you have the normal shops that pop up eager to make life easier for such a large group of homes such as grocery stores, restaurants, and specialty shops….dry cleaners, gyms, salons, etc.
One of the shops that opened near us is a Video game store. Over the past year or so, the video game store has dressed up a couple kids in various costumes in order to draw attention to this little establishment. They had Sonic the Hedgehog for a little bit and then came The Mario Brothers. Mario made it the longest because whoever took over that role, seemed to enjoy dancing. Through heat and cold Dancing Mario was out there pimping the GameStop in the strip center. It must be that the Dancing Mario has moved on to bigger things as we haven’t seen Mario in a couple months but last Sunday, LUIGI (Mario’s brother from the game) was out there. Luigi didn’t seem too thrilled about being out there. There were no fancy moves but to be fair, I think the kid wearing Luigi had just gotten out there. Maybe he needed to limber up a little.
So, Luigi is walking away from the redlight where we are waiting to turn. Reese is in the back seat sort of waving good-bye to this person. In retrospect, I don’t think that Reese realized that Luigi was indeed a character and not a person per se…..
Luigi hears a honk from a car and quickly turns back toward us, and toward the honking car to sort of do the “bang!”  right back atcha sort of move…..Cheesy guys do this with their fingers and then wink….you know what I’m talking about. It wasn't malicious but sort of an acknowledgement. 
All of the sudden, Reese yells in agony and Kim and I turn to see what’s going on….she has her hands on her eyes like she’s stabbed a fork in them. She’s absolutely torn out of frame over something….is it her eye?, is she hurt, did something sting her, did she pinch her finger on something…..the series of diagnostic scans take place between Kim and I and then we realize – probably instantly – that this has something to do with Luigi. Reese pulls her hands down to see if he is still there and you bet….he’s walking back our direction. I’ve never seen her react so urgently, so violently, and so completely terrified as she reacted Sunday…We…well, I was roaring inside and sort of bursting with little puffs of laughter because Kim was doing well looking like she was crying holding back laughter.  We both reach back, try to coddle our daughter and then she looks over again and sees Luigi still trudging up the sidewalk. She reaches out again, arms straight out, legs straight out head slightly tilted to see her enemy and everything waving in urgent desperation…..seemingly saying…GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!!!!!
Finally the light turns, finally Daddy catches a breath that doesn’t have laughter bursting out from it, Kim settles in and is smiling/laughing/hurting from holding it all back….and little Reese breathes a sigh of relief that we’ve moved on from the corner where the Devil incarnate (Luigi) lives. We spent the next two hours cuddling with her on the couch, showing her Luigi online through Google images and reassuring her that Luigi was not going to get her and was just a guy in a costume, we showed her Halloween pictures, etc….to explain that sometimes folks dress up and this was just a normal kid dressed up.
She was almost like a clinging monkey the rest of the night. She’d randomly announce, “He no get you….He no get you” to which we would of course reply, “No way…Luigi is nice.” Then we started sort of redirecting her with stuff that would confuse her like…”Puppa? (her little doggy) No way…Puppa wouldn’t get you, Puppa loves you.” Just trying to take her mind off things.
I suppose it worked because she slept sound that night and hasn’t mentioned anything about Luigi since….but what a funny moment, but at the same time a sad moment. Funny because of her genuine and cute reaction. Sad because she was really scared and her innocence in this world is being played on. She’s scared of something now….that sucks because Kim and I are forced to manage those fears now. I suppose there are worse things than Luigi…in fact, I know there are, but as she grows up these things will be ever present. We’ll deal with it the best way we know how but I’ll need Kim to pinch me next time because this one was probably the funniest thing our little Reese has done. One day she'll scare the hell out of me for laughing on Sunday.

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