These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

new kid on the block

we've lived in our house for about five months. most of that time was spent indoors because of the winter months. we didn't get to meet many of our neighbors and only saw a handful here and there, mostly shovelling driveways or sidewalks.

now that the weather has changed for the better, neighbors are out and about cleaning or clearing away weeds, branches and doing spring time stuff.

while i was puttering around the backyard sunday, i started to chat with our neighbor lisa over the wooden fence (a la time allen and his neighbor). i made my way to her backyard and we got to chatting.

while we talked, her neighbor's grandson (they share a driveway) was riding around the drive on his bicycle (with training wheels). he's 5 years old.

after we were done talking, i made my way back and i overheard lisa and the boy talking and he was asking for my name.

less than 30 minutes later, he came over to my driveway to ask if i could help him find his lost pokemon ball. it had apparently gone over the fence while he and his grandfather played. i followed him to his backyard and he sowed me where. i tried to get up over the fence and i told him to be careful. it felt a bit awkward. i sort of left because i didn't know what to do.

a little later i hear a knock on the backdoor. it's him. he's got this big plastic ball in his hands. he asks if i want to play ball with him. it's getting late and i tell him i am going to eat but that we'd do it another time.

he persists as many small children do. he came back still later. this time he brough a little girl with him. they wanted to know if "noel could come and play." i don't know if thelittle girl thought a small child lived in the house or not. she got on her bike and left. i didn't go out. i still hadn't eaten yet.

then monday afternoon, as i'm starting to walk to work, i see him a few houses down on the bike. i notice his training wheels are off. i tell him to be careful and not to fall,he says he'll try, and i am off for work.

dawn tells me that he stopped by later that evening, knocking on the door. then on tuesday, he came back and knocked again. dawn told him i was at work and wouldn't be home until after he'd gone to sleep. apparently he threw his arms up in the air in comic frustration. he walked off without saying bye or anything.

i think it's funny how this boy is hanging out. i've never seen him before sunday. i really didn't make an impression with him since i didn't speak to him while at lisa's house.

who knows why little boys do things. they just do them. i think he's the only child in the house, aong with his grandparents, his mother and sister.
maybe he wants some male companionship. sure, why not. the only problem is while he's a kid with little to do except play, i have work to do around the house. so i'll have to interact with him here and there when i can.

it makes you feel good, though, that some kid is taking an interest. i guess i'm not that scary after all.


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