Monday, July 02, 2007

How to Make Your Friend's Mom Cry

It's 8:30 PM, and the streetlights will be turning on any minute now. That was always the signal to come home for a bath, a snack, and bedtime, when I was a child.

It's 8:30 PM, and my doorbell just rang. It was Adventure Boy, looking for Little Brother (he's running an errand with TheDad.)

After I told Adventure Boy that Little Brother isn't home now, and that it's getting late, and asked him what time he's supposed to be home, AND admired his blue light sabre for the 875th time, he asked me, "How come you watch Little Brother?"

"I'm his mom," I replied, and wondered if that might be the Wrong Answer since he lives with his grandparents.

He thought about it, and very solemnly told me, "I...I...I take care of my own me!"

A boy of 5 1/2 should not be taking care of his "own me."

His grandmother told me today that he wanted to come here at 7 AM.

Summer is when our schedules open up a little. We're not getting ready for a 7:25 AM school bus. We're not driving to the high school to get Big Brother after track practice. We do have storytime at the library, grocery shopping, and summer art class and basketball games.

We do have a little boy who wants to come here at 7 AM and would stay as long as we let him. My neighbor and I let him in when we can, when we don't have plans that involve leaving the house, and he's generally well-behaved (though he did pretend to cut off my arms and legs with his light sabre tonight!)

It's hard to know where to draw the line with a little boy who is clearly not getting the kind of attention and supervision a 5-year-old needs. But in the summer, our schedules open up a little, and our hearts need to open up a lot.

St. John Bosco, pray for all the Adventure Boys in the world.

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