Monday, May 27, 2013

Do you want to go to the parade?

A knock on my door, and my neighbor, Zach appeared, with a question I didn't think I'd ever hear from him again. "Do you want to walk up to the parade?"

Just this morning I'd been thinking about him. It was a yearly ritual,  walking up to the yearly Memorial Day parade together.

Zach has been a wonderful kid, courteous and kind. Always with a smile, always  polite. But as he approaches his teen years, I figured he would never want to attend a parade, let alone, ask me.

 I've seen him grow as the years progressed from a cute little kid who loved trick or treat night and playing ball with his daddy,  into a taller version of himself, with thoughts of playing football for his school team on his mind now. Yet one thing has remained through the years: he's never changed who he is. With good parent's guidance, Zach has always been a great kid. He asks me if he can help when he sees me outside doing yard work. And when company is here, he politely shakes hands with everyone, having conversation with them like an adult.

So it was with a bit of surprise, I opened my door to find Zach asking the question once more. "Do you want to walk up to the parade?" A lump formed in my throat. We have this time once more, I thought. How much longer until you're a teenager, thoughts of girls and your whole life before you?

He'll always be special to me. I've felt like an auntie more than a neighbor. I think he'll do great things someday. And if he feels uncomfortable as he gets a little older talking to me while he's with friends, I'll understand that time passes as a child grows into adulthood. They always come back though. They never lose their roots. I'll be here, watching, praying, hoping for the best in his life.

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