11.02.2007

I'd like you to meet Allison

This is the story of Allison. She's really amazing. I've thought so since the first moment I saw her. She's always smiling. She just smiles and smiles and smiles. If smiles were money I'd be so rich.


Okay, maybe she didn't smile every single moment, maybe she cried once in a while, maybe she pouted once when she was upset about not getting another cookie. But honestly, she just was such a happy baby and a happy child. At least that's what it looked like to me.


She wanted to learn ballet, so she studied at a studio run by a graduate of the Royal Academy of Ballet Teacher program. It was a very good program -- an inspector came from the Academy once a year and held examinations. Sometimes the teacher would spend too much time correcting a particular student and the rest of the class would drift off. It was fun watching the classes. It takes a really special person to teach little girls that age.


A bit later Allison tried cheerleading for Pop Warner football. Neither one of us liked that very much. The football coaches were awful -- they encouraged violence and dangerous risks. The cheerleading coaches were just as bad. The cheers were horribly sexist and made the girls look ridiculous. Allison caught on by herself and decided she wanted to play soccer. Now that's what I'm talking about.


She also played the flute and loved to be in stage plays. She even majored in Drama for a while at San Diego State. She lost interest in that eventually and graduated with a degree in Psychology. Allison decided that San Diego was too small and moved to New York. That was a tough one. I worried -- needlessly -- for months. Such images I had! But I'd forgotten that smile, that amazing immediately-melt-you smile. She dazzled everyone she met. (That, of course, is a mother talking. She would have a very different version if you asked her to tell you about it. But I'm the one telling this story. So there.)

She had a few boyfriends in the first couple years she was there. And then she met Carl. Carl. He smiles a lot too. And it's a great smile. You wouldn't know it from this picture. This is them playing footsie.



So Allison and Carl fell in love and now they smile all over the world, starting in Central Park.


And San Diego....


And Jamaica...


And St. Martin...


And Rio....


And Sao Paolo.... (oops, where's Carl?)


And Germany....(for the World Cup)


And Montevideo...


And Seattle....

And Napa...



Aren't they lovely together? Where will they smile next? I'll keep you posted.