I had just gotten out of my car at home Tuesday afternoon. I was in a hurry, but I heard a child’s singsong voice before I could make it into the house.
“Where are you going?”
It was my 5-year-old neighbor, Derrick. He likes to come visit my dog, Lucy, when I have her out. He also likes to come sit on my porch and talk with me. It doesn’t matter much to him what we talk about. He also loves other neighborhood animals, including a calico cat named Bella, whose family moved away a couple of weeks ago. (As you can see in the picture, Bella tolerated him. Just barely.)
“I have some work I have to get done,” I told him. “I have to go inside.”
“Oh,” he said with quiet disappointment.
I looked down at him and he was staring at the ground. He had pushed his bike over to my house and he just stood there next to me for a moment before he suddenly spoke.
“Can you fix my bike?”
I’m not a very mechanical person, so I knew it was very unlikely that I could help. But he seemed to need something. Honestly, it didn’t really seem as though it was about the bike as much as it was about my attention.