Lina loved the park’s slides, each shaped like an animal. I watched her trudging up the Camel and then swishing down the Elephant with other children, her little face lit with joy. She did it numerous times, trying out the Horse one time and the Hippo the next.
Lina went back to the animal slides, but returned within minutes to point again at the tall slide. Her heart was set on it. Despite strong misgivings, I said, “All right, you can play on that slide, but be careful.”
Lina climbed the steps, one after another, while I stood anxiously on the ground below, half regretting my reluctant approval. She finally reached the top, and plunged down the slide. In a few seconds she landed safely, quite radiant with triumph.
I had noticed, however, as she climbed the last few steps of the tall slide, the worried look on her face and the anxious glance at me standing below. I asked, “Lina, you weren’t afraid, were you?”
In reply, she just hugged me, her small arms tight against my neck. She had faith in me: she knew she would be looked after.