A few weeks ago, after a bad report at school, Connor and I were in the front yard doing some
hard labor yard work. All of a sudden, I heard a voice call out from the sidewalk, “hi Connor.”
We turned, and there was a pale, blonde boy, on his bike. We said hello back to him, and I asked the usual litany of mom questions. Turns out, he goes to the same school, is also in first grade, is also 6-years-old, but is in a different classroom. He offered to help us, but I told him it was Connor’s job today, but maybe another time. He asked if he could come over and play sometime, and I said “of course.”
As he rode away, the wheels in my tiny, little brain started turning. Granted, I grew up in the wild and crazy 70’s, but I wasn’t even allowed to roam the neighborhood until I was about ten. By that time, my mom didn’t care if my rambunctious band of hooligan friends and I had massive amounts of C4, or the Lindbergh baby stuffed in our backpacks, as long as we were out playing and out of her hair.
But six? Seems kind of young to be out gallivanting around the neighborhood unattended. It left me feeling uncomfortable, until two days later. Home from work and school, there was a knock on the door. You guessed it, the same boy. He wanted to play with Connor, who was bouncing around behind me, thrilled to have a visitor. I asked wee man if his parents knew where he was, and he assured me they did. I saw his bike out on the front walk, and hesitantly let him in.
The boys disappeared to the toy room for several minutes. I went to check on them, and heard Wee Man telling Connor, “You still have training wheels? I don’t have training wheels anymore.” I knocked and opened the door to ask if they wanted a drink, and Connor informed me that he wants his training wheels taken off his bike. I told him to take it up with daddy, the Lord of the Screwdriver, then I asked Wee Man again if his parents knew where he was.
Although he assured me again that his whereabouts were known, I told him that in five minutes they had to wrap it up. Then I told him that my husband and Connor would walk home with him, so they could let his mom know where he was, and my husband could introduce himself.
“They don’t have to, I have my bike.”
“Well, that’s how we do things in our family, we meet the parents, so just ride slow.”
Off they went, and five minutes later, Connor and hubs were back. Apparently the little huckster ran off ahead, and into his house. When hubs came to the door, he opened it, said “you can’t come in right now, and slammed it shut.” Connor carried on all the way back home, because he had his heart set on seeing the boy’s room.
I guess we will never know what’s going on in other people’s homes, but I was glad we tried to do the responsible thing. Although it was only 15 minutes, the whole time the boy was in our house I was creeped out, because all I could think was, I could never let Connor go into a stranger’s house and feel safe about it.
Anyway, the following Saturday Connor insisted he wanted his training wheels off for good, and I’ll be damned if he didn’t ride without them. Granted, he did suffer a crash that scraped his ankle, but he calmly said he needed to go in for a band-aid, and once acquired, he marched right back outside to ride again. He was so proud of himself, and so were we. For once, he was determined to see something through, no matter how hard it was.
We haven’t seen Wee Man lately. Maybe he got his driving privileges suspended, or maybe his parents are paying more attention to his whereabouts. I sure hope so, anyway, since I’d hate for him to show up at my house with a backpack full of C4.