Feeling blue. SkinnyBoy has moved to Florida. As in our chances of crossing paths again are as slim as he is.
He used to be our neighbor, lived four houses away. He spent as much time at our house as he was allowed, which was pretty much 24/7 in the summers, and during the school year, he'd show up for our carpool almost an hour early to “hang out, I was ready for school.” I fed him breakfast. Made sure he had lunch money or packed him a lunch. His Dad had lost his job even before the Great Recession hit. I know things were tough at his house for a multitude of reasons, so we did what we could to help, though direct help was completely refused. Out of respect for him, let's just leave all that there.
After I dropped him at his house on school days, with his over-stuffed back-pack and french horn, he'd shut the door with a, “See you in a minute!” and would be back at our house almost before I could turn the car around and hit our driveway. He stayed for dinner a lot. Eventually of course he had to go home to do his homework, but so did my boys. Worked out great. Just for reference, my boys are 2 ½ years apart, he's right between them age-wise. He and I share a birthday. With Obama. And Best :-)
I love this boy. A boy of integrity, great work ethic, always cleaned up his dishes and offered to do chores. We pay for chores around here, don't believe in “allowance”. There are of course some “because you live here” chores which don't pay (dishes, laundry, trash, recycling, vacuuming, sweeping) but others do. He did a lot of those. Loving video games as much as my boys, he did those to make any spending “frivolously” possible, I'm sure.
Two years ago they lost their house and moved across town to a rental duplex. That didn't stop our boys who have bikes, he'd just ride over here and knock, just as if he'd run down the hill. Friendship continued almost interrupted.
A month ago he began preparing us all. “My Dad is maybe getting a job in Florida.” Wow. Job great. Florida not so much. Dad got job. He came over to say goodbye while I was in Texas. I didn't get to give that skinny little body one more hug. I didn't get to tell him, one more time, my version of this quote from The Help as Aibileen did Mae Mobley, “You is kind, you is smart. You is important.”
I asked him once why he liked being over here so much. “You're always happy to see me, I know you love me, and it feels really nice to be here.” Hold on to that thought dear boy as your life is about to change. May you find another family that makes you feel that way. Good bye, SkinnyBoy. Good bye.