An Eight-Year-Old Yells “Glue!”

green-tree-hito the other kids when touching a tree or traffic pole. Everyone knows what that means.

Whatever game was being played on a warm summer night had this built-in safety that stopped all the action of the neighborhood kids’ game for that person. “Glue” meant that I’m now protected from all the follies that this night involved.

One hand around the tree or pole took you out of the action as long as your hand was around…”but what if it’s just my pinky finger on the tree or pole?” tempts the young one’s fate. Even pinky is respected by everyone because tree or pole contact remains.

“Release that pinky and see what happens,” I’m sure they were all thinking. If that were the case then the worst two words pronounced to an eight-year-old during game night would be, “You’re It!”

“Glue” was not a time-out as though you hurt your knee or needed a bathroom break. “Glue” was the real thing that stopped all the action for you, until that hand or pinky pulled away.

It’s 70 degrees outside on this April Sunday evening and I experienced once again what “Glue” meant or means. My family had a wonderful evening meal together and driving home fourteen feelings entered my mind (or was it eighteen?) I’m sitting on my front porch with my two cats wildly enjoying this unusually warm Wisconsin weather (there is no “Glue” for cats, by the way) and I’m feeling an eight-year-old’s “Glue” moment.

All that stuff is still there but I feel my pinky touching that tree and it lifted everything to where ever lifted things go. I know those feelings are still there but that young “Glue” feeling was recalled.

I don’t recall how we young people learned or knew about the “Glue” rule but it was a premonition for my life tonight.

Those youthful games did continue. How long can an eight-year-old hold on to something or anything? Tonight, as an aging but still eight-years-old, I somehow can’t leave this “Glue” place. It just feels like the right place to be – right in the middle of something that had a rich, enriching past that’s ended and an unknown, unnamed future.

The April trees are still barren but signs of buds are beginning to show and the moon is hazy but still visible.

I’m only giving up “Glue” because I need to go to the bathroom. (I’m not eight anymore.) But I want to remember that there (was) is a time and a place that knows no age or doubtful circumstance. I yelled it out silently for only me to hear and remember, “Glue.”


Books by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.
Available at
“Soulful Musings,” reflections on the Catholic Church and American culture
“Living Faith’s Mysteries,” reflection on the Christian seasons of
Advent, Christmas/Lent, Easter
“Spiritual Wonderings and Wanderings,” reflections on the Catholic Church and American culture

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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1 Response to An Eight-Year-Old Yells “Glue!”

  1. David Gawlik says:

    Great writing your contemporary parables are awe-some.


    Caritas Communications 1025 West Glen Oaks Lane, Suite 106 Mequon, WI 53092 414.531.0503



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