The Shot Heard ’Round the Neighborhood

A Running in High Heels Story

I looked at the kitchen clock.

Yikes! I had to have my son at the doctor’s for his annual physical in less than an hour.

“I will keep the intricacies of your business situation in mind while I conduct an availability search for your proposed trademark,” I promised, trying to reach my keys which were just beyond the wall phone’s cord length.

The client launched into another long explanation.

“I hate to interrupt you, but I have people waiting for me to start a meeting. I certainly have enough background information to get a knock out search completed and once we have that data you can make some business decisions to determine the best path for developing your brand.”
Not leaving any chance for the client to reply I concluded, “I will email you the results and my legal opinion in 10 days.” And hung up the phone.
I grabbed my keys and picked up my purse and cell phone as I stuffed my feet into my high heeled pumps.

“Ben,” I shouted. “Where are you? We have to leave for the doctor’s in 5 minutes.”

No reply.

“BEN!”

One of my daughters looked up from the couch as I careened into the family room still shouting.

“Ma, he went to Tom’s to play basketball, remember?”

I looked confused.

“You said he could.”

I re-ran my memory tape of my after school working at home. HMMMM, maybe while I was dictating that Office Action he did come in and ask me something…

“Anybody want to come to Dr. Ashe’s with me and Ben and Abigail?” I picked up my two year old, crayons, marker, paper and all, and looked at the two bigger girls.

“I’d like to go to the library,” said one, looking up from her book.

“Can I go play with Diana for a little while?” asked the other.

Arggg, more stops.

“Ok, hop in the car,” I said, as I kept collecting my things, forms for the doctor to complete, library books to return. I called Tom’s house as we backed out of the driveway.

“No,” said Tom’s mother “Ben is not here. Neither is Tom, and for that matter, I have been looking for them. I thought they were at your house. Maybe you should try Danny’s. And if you find Tom, tell him he was supposed to be home a half hour ago.”

I pulled a U-Turn and called Danny’s house.

“I haven’t seen them all afternoon,” said Danny’s Mom. “Try Brendon’s! And if you find Danny, could you tell him to call me and let me know where he is?”

Brendon’s Mom was a little more helpful. “Well, they WERE here, but they left for Jamie’s house about an hour ago. When you find them can you tell Brendon he needs to finish cleaning up his room?”

We pulled into Jamie’s driveway and then backed right back out onto the street. It was jammed with kids. In fact, every kid in the neighborhood seemed to be there.

My oldest said, “Oh, Dianna is here, you don’t have to drive me to her house!” and jumped out the door.

The rest of us clambered out and stood watching all the action. There were groups of kids on the swings. Some were jumping on the trampoline and about a dozen kids were playing basketball. Ben was in the middle of the basketball crowd, passing the ball and then setting up and waiting for a chance to get it back for the shot.

“Ben,” I shouted. “Ben!!”

It was futile. No one heard. The game went on.

Abigail and I stood, hand in hand and watched for a few minutes. I was strategizing. Abigail saw one of her friends and pulled her hand away, starting to stray toward the front steps where a group of kids were coloring.
Alicia looked up from her book. “Oh, there’s Katie!” she scrambled out of the car and ran over to the trampoline.

I had to do something!

A wild shot in the basketball game hit the top of the backboard at a crazy angle and shot across the driveway right into my hands.

Some of the players stopped and looked at me.

“Shoot it Mom!” shouted my son.

“Yeah!” the crowd agreed. “shoot it!”

It was at least a three point shot, from where I stood. Now all the children in the yard stopped what they were doing and looked at me.

I dropped my keys, put two hands on the ball, squared up and jumped up from my high heels, releasing the ball.

Unbelievably, the ball went in!

Complete silence!

And then all the kids cheered.

“Do it again!” shouted Ben, throwing me the ball.

I caught it. And considered.

Not being crazy, and knowing the odds I tucked the ball on my hip and said, “Now that I have your attention: Ben, I need you in the car right now, we are late for a Doctor’s appointment. Tom, you need to go home. Brendon, you need to get back to work, so hop in the car, I will drive you home, and Danny your mom wants you to call her and tell her where you are.”

A groan went up and everyone regrouped.

I gathered the kids I needed and shooed them into the car.

I pulled another U-Turn.

This time I did not have to wonder why I was always late.

Copyright janefcollen April 2011


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