She held a blue balloon, and I watched as she let it go, a huge grin on her face as it lifted up and floated away.
“Hey, Jelly Bean!,” someone called. How was school? She whirled around and raced towards (I think) her grandfather. The blue balloon was now a tiny spec in the sky.
He looked to be about 60, with white hair pulled into a long thick pony
tail trailing down his back, and tied with many black elastic bands, each carefully spaced an inch apart. I decided he was a physicist at the Lab. She grabbed his hand and pulled him to a stop, talking earnestly to him in a low voice I couldn’t hear. I admired his polished cowboy boots and blue jeans as he bent down to face his granddaughter eye to eye. A serious look on his face, he listened carefully to her, nodding thoughtfully as she talked.
“I just couldn’t do it, Grampa.”
He looked her in the eyes. “What do you mean, you couldn’t do it?”
“I’m only a girl.”
I wondered what had happened.
Her grandfather shook his ponytail, stood up and led her to the car. “You can do it! You just have to figure out how to it your way. You may not have huge body strength, but you can work through a problem using your brain. Being strong is good for some. Being smart, for you, is better.”
She looked up at him, narrowing her eyes. “My brain doesn’t have muscles, so I just use it to figure out how to do physical stuff?”
He nodded. “Just because you’re a girl doesn’t mean you aren’t smart. You may not be physically strong, but think it through, and then do it your way.”