December 05, 2010

Visit from Little Biker Boy

It’s only been a week, but it feels like much longer. I’ve been worried about Little Biker Boy, and I felt relieved to see him.

He and his mother have moved again. (Yes, that’s right, after only a week.) But I think it’s a good move. She broke up with the boyfriend, and she’s back on her own, in a small apartment with Little Biker Boy. She’s got a job at a little store within walking distance of the apartment. It’s about four miles from where I live.

Little Biker Boy, I could tell, had had a rough week, but he’s okay, at least for now. He’s back in school. He said that he’s seen his sister, and she likes the school she’s going to. His mother seemed fine with him coming to my house for a visit. I’m hoping we can work this into a weekly routine.

Once he was in my car, he showed me his sneakers, “The soles are coming off,” he said. “I need new ones.”

He and I have a deal: he tells me when he needs new stuff. So we made a detour to the store. Once in the shoe department, he sat on the floor and took off his sneakers. I picked one up to look at the size and realized it was soaking wet. He’d been outside in the slush all day. His socks, too, were sopping wet. They smelled pretty awful.

“Ew,” I said. “I don’t think you can try shoes on with those socks.”

He looked at me. Then I looked down. My feet are about the same size as his. “Quick,” I whispered. “Let’s switch socks.”

I don’t know why I was whispering. I mean, it might be a little strange to switch socks in the store, but it’s not illegal or anything.

“I’m gonna wear your socks?” he asked in disbelief. I sat on the floor next to him and began taking off my shoes.

“Oh, they probably aren’t mine,” I assured him. “I take With-a-Why’s socks all the time.”

By then we were both barefoot, sitting on the linoleum floor, surrounded by holiday shoppers who were rushing carts up and down the aisles. We were both trying to be quiet, which made him giggle.

“These are nice and dry,” he said as he pulled my socks on.

“These aren’t,” I said, yanking on his wet socks. I made a face, and he laughed out loud.

“You wanted them,” he said. He was grinning.

“Try on the sneakers,” I said.

He was hungry, so we got slices of pizza and ate them in my warm car while we talked. We drove through snowy roads, with him exclaiming at the Christmas lights. I’m not a big fan of tacky holiday displays, but he loved even the corniest fake Santa Claus. When we got to my house, Shaggy Hair Boy was playing the piano.

“Can we have a fire?” Little Biker Boy asked. He helped me build it. He loves to be the person to light the match.

“I want to roll in the snow,” he said once we had a fire going. I lent him my boots.

“I’ll go with him,” said Shaggy Hair Boy. He grabbed his coat, and they ran out into the backyard which was covered with fresh snow.

With-a-Why turned from the computer and looked out the window. “They’re making angels,” he reported.

When Little Biker Boy came back in, he said, “I have a surprise for you!” Then he pulled me to the front porch to show me: he had shoveled a path to the door, just like he’s done so many times over the last two winters. Then he settled down in front of the fire with his new plastic wrestling figures, and we talked until it was time for me to take him back home.

26 comments:

Lilian said...

Oh, dear, this is heartwarming, but also heartbreaking. I hope you can keep in regular touch with him and help him out. Where are his sister and baby sibling (a boy?) staying? I'm hoping they're safe too.

Digger said...

I'm so glad you got to spend some time with him, and that he's seen his sister.

susan said...

I hope these visits continue...

ThirdCat said...

oh, jo(e), I don't know what to say
but thank you for sharing this with us
xx

Terminal Degree said...

I'm glad he has you in his life.

Bardiac said...

What TD said. I bet the day meant a LOT to him. Your sons are good role models, too.

undine said...

I am glad that LBB is all right and that you are there for him.

Jan said...

This little boy and his sister have stolen my heart through your stories alone. I'm so glad for the connection they have with you. Thank you for sharing them with us. I pray that they will be ok.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I think you have something wrong at the end of your post... he was home, and you took him back to his mother. Home isn't always where you live, it's where you are most cared for --

Barbara said...

I'm so glad to hear he's ok. I hope his mother can stay away from abusive partners. I think that might be too much to hope for but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

ChrisinNY said...

Maybe all the good thoughts and prayers and positive energy sent Biker Boy's way helped, in some way, influence the choices his mother made. I'd like to believe so...and will keep sending those positive thoughts his/his family's way. I will be holding them all in the light.

immersion said...

So very sweet! A fire has been lit in my heart reading this. Hoping this turn of events continues, but maybe not the socks.

Songbird said...

I was thinking about him, and you, last night. So glad you got to see him.

fairbetty said...

The story of this kid's life is so heartbreaking... even the good part of him having you in his life makes me cry. Your generosity touches me...

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

This is the first post in which I've really felt LBB's high energy. He must be both exhausting and invigorating to have around!

AMEN to a little bit of peace in his life & his mother's. I hope that job works out for her. And I hope Ponytail is really all right.

jo(e) said...

Jennifer: Yeah, he's very high energy. And very easily distracted. And he's got a bunch of behavior issues. So yeah, both exhausting and invigorating. That's a good way to put it.

I'm hoping that over Christmas, when Ponytail has off from school, I'll be able to figure out a way to see her. I'm guessing she'll be spending some time at her mother's and I can invite them over.

jo(e) said...

Lilian:

Ponytail and the little brother are living a few towns over with Ponytail's father. That's all the information I've been able to get. I don't think it's a safe situation.

Rodentia said...

This is great. I love the switching socks moment--I pride myself on using humor and silliness to make kids feel better about potentially embarrassing/shaming situations, but I don't know if I would have had the courage to put on wet socks. Kudos!

readersguide said...

Oh, I'm so glad you've seen him.

Anonymous said...

It makes me feel good to know you are in the world. This type of kindness is so special, and I want to thank you for making me feel better about the human race.

landismom said...

I wish that I could send you a Christmas present or two to give to LBB & Ponytail. I don't know how you would explain it to his mom, though.

Lomagirl said...

Thank you for an update on LBB. He's so dear to all of our hearts now I think.
Blessings- wet socks and all!

jodi said...

Thank you for letting us know about the visit.

kathy a. said...

i'm late! but i'm so glad the mama broke up with her boyfriend and has her own place and a job.

LBB is high energy, yes, but i really love his delight in lighting the fire, and in surprising you with the gift of a clear front walk. love that he trusted you enough to tell you he needed new shoes -- he would not tell anyone at school, and not his mother, either, since she is no doubt expressing her feelings about being stretched thin.

when you mentioned trading sox -- brilliant! -- i was mentally pulling out a plastic bag for the wet gross smelly sox. but your way gave him so much more dignity. as did his idea to shovel the front walk -- he was contributing to the family he has adopted, not just taking.

Utterkelp said...

I read your blog once a week so it was like a "..to be continued show" this past week. The fact that this was really happening and most children from this background are on their own is so sad. I'm glad you got to see biker boy. And in terms of a serial, it kept me on (albeit sober) pins and needles all week.

Kyla said...

I'm so glad he's got you.