A VISIT FROM A YOUNG NEIGHBOR

A young neighbor came to visit me a few weeks ago, when I was sitting on the front porch, trying to read a book. It was a brief break, on a warm spring evening, just before sundown, but I didn't mind the interruption.

I became a bit concerned, because he was only six years old and had walked up the block to my house by himself. I could see his Great Grandparents' front porch from where I was sitting, but no one from his family was in view.

He walked straight up to me and I felt good that he found me reading (not playing with my smartphone or watching TV). We had a nice chat: he told me about school, because I asked. Most kids hate that topic, but I tried to make it a fun discussion.

He told me that his favorite thing to do during recess is play cops and robbers. I never knew how children played that game, so I asked him to teach me. After he explained the game, I asked which one he liked to be. He told me that he liked being the cop and that he had only been the robber once. Since my dad was a police officer for most of his career, I told him how proud he would be to know about his game.

Then I shared that I was worried that he was out walking by himself and that I couldn't see his mom, his grandma or his great-grandparents. He told me that he had asked his mother if he could come and visit me before he came to see me. That's when his mom peeked her head into my line of sight and waved, almost as if she could hear us talking from so far away.

That made my day.

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