The Lonely Boy
Yesterday I took all the kids (school was out for the last few days) to the park. It was perfect fall weather with the multi-color leaves and grayish sky. I love the smell of the leaves and pine trees this time of year. Well anyway, the park is the same one I used to go to and it has all the old retro playground equipment, plus two bridges over a small creek. The kids really love it and they all had a lot of fun. There was this one little boy who sort of adopted us. He wore a light blue shirt and had sandy blond hair, and he was the only kid there with no parent around. Slowly he worked his way into our group, away from the other group that had a couple of rough boys running around, and started to make chat with a friendly, shy countenance. He commented to me about something silly Julia had done, and I commented back how goofy she was sometimes and he ran off with a smile. When we went across the park to play tag, he followed and I watched as the whole group had fun doing that for a long time. Then when I announced lunch a sad look crossed his face. "Do you have to go? Can't you stay?" He was so sweet, and I felt so bad. "No, we really gotta go. These kids need to eat." I wanted to ask him where his parents were? Was he always out here by himself? Who took care of him, protected him? Instead I told him how nice he was and how much fun all the kids had. He nodded and walked off. I guess I'm gonna call him The Lonely Boy. There's too many of 'em in the world and they all break my heart just a little bit.