Neighbors

My neighbor came over tonight. He’s a first grader with some pretty significant behavior/attention difficulties, which can make it difficult to hang out with him, but I really enjoy him. He’s pretty sharp and not willing to take someone’s word as truth just because they’re old.

I was working out on my elliptical, the first song in the playlist finishes when I hear the door bell’s mutant tone down the hall way. I decide to ignore it.  But after the second song ends and I hear that truncated tone again, I know exactly who it is.  The neighbor kid. Who will stand outside my door for the whole half hour and keep knocking.  I pause my play list and fume down the hallway, thinking that I’m going to give him what for, but by the time I get to the door, I’m just slightly irritated.  His smiling face greets me when I open the door. He’s lost more teeth – some were baby teeth, some were permanent that he pulled out himself – and he’s quite proud of the spaces. He says “I can hear your dance music! Are you dancing?” and I respond “sort of, I’ll be done in 20 minutes.” “Can I come back then,” he asks hopefully and I quickly think: how much time do I want to give him? When will the pizza get here, because I’m not sharing my food, too. Things work for me, so I invite him backn.  He’s sitting on the living room floor, playing a dolphin video game when I realize that I’ve never seen him with a cape.  Doesn’t every kid need a cape?  Heck yeah they do!  So I ask him: “Do you have a cape?” and he grunts in confusion, still engrossed in the game.  But the words eventually seep in, because he suddenly turns to me “A cape?! No, I don’t have a cape!” “Well, get up! Let’s go make you one!” So we troop down to my craft room and I sew up a cheesy cape from an old striped sheet while he watches, perched on a tall bar-stool across the table from me, questions spilling in a constant stream from his gapped-tooth mouth.  He tries it on, we adjust the gathers, and wa-la! a 20 minute cape!  His mom comes to get him and as we’re talking on my door stoop on the second floor, down through the landing you can see flashes of blue and white striped fabric streaming back and forth.

He’s flying!

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