Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gratitude

We've had a neighborhood boy turning up on our doorstep every day after school. The kids are barely off the bus and in the door when David comes knocking.

I have posted before about the minor annoyance that friends can sometimes bring to our family dynamic. How other parents sometimes will dump their kid at your house, leaving you to provide entertainment. And how the new playmate sometimes disrupts the otherwise cohesive sibling playtime.

Well, David is no such kid.

David is a shy, skinny, blond-haired little boy. He does not rifle my pantry in search of treats. When my boys are begging him to play video games or watch TV, he is instead suggesting Legos and pretend play. He does not play with only one of my children at a time, but instead includes all three - even the Princess. (And I'll admit it, there are a lot of days that EVEN I don't want to be bossed around by the Princess). But David takes it all in with a smile. Nobody is odd-man-out when David comes to play.

And my kids just ADORE him. They beg to have him stay for dinner. They hate when it's time for him to go home. They would have him move in permanently, I'm sure. And with his polite manners and quiet demeanor, I just might consider taking him.

I've attributed his enjoyment of our family to the fact that his only sibling is a 15-year-old sister, who is probably not very interested in Legos and scooters. I've thought that my boys and their rambunctious nature must be the big draw for David. And that might be all it is.

But tonight, we learned a little more about our friend David. He was staying for dinner. Asking politely for seconds, waiting his turn, and complimenting me on my fine cooking skills (which let's be honest, very few people in this house ever do). Chase happened to ask him what time his Mom and Dad get home from work every day. David said his Mom gets home at five and his Dad? Well, his Dad passed away.

I could barely keep back the tears as we gently told him how sorry we were.

Cancer. About a year ago is all.

And suddenly, this shy, sweet little boy seemed so much older for his age. He's experienced more than a ten-year-old boy ever should. No child should know the heartache of mortality. He lives every day knowing just how fragile life is. How someone you love can be taken from you, whether you like it or not. My heart just ached for this little boy and what his family has been through.

Later, as I was tucking McKay in bed, he had tears in his eyes as he told me he could not imagine losing his Dad. You know what, Buddy? I can hardly imagine it either.

And so today, we will hug our Dad just a little bit tighter.

And tomorrow, we'll play with David, just like we do every day. Only this time, we'll understand maybe why he's so shy. And we'll not mind that he knocks right after the bus passes. Because his house is probably too quiet.

And ours is everything but.

26 comments:

Rochelleht said...

Oh, that was so tender!!! Wow, what a little love-bug. That makes me so sad. That was written so very well! I think his mom must be doing a great job with him, though cause what lovely manners and what a good kid he is!

Michelle said...

Okay seriously can't hold back the tears. What a sweet little boy! My heart just breaks for him. He is truely blessed to have your family in his life. And I know in turn your family is blessed.

We knew a kid like that once when we were in college. He always came over and helped with dinner and cleaning. He had the BEST manners. He even visited us once after we moved to Texas. He left us the sweetest thank you when he left our home. Mainly thanking Blake for taking him camping and playing ball with him. You just never know how you will impact someones life.

Love you girl and your sweet family!!

Bridget said...

Oh, poor David. My heart aches for him. I can't imagine that at 10 yrs old. And what an amazing mom he must have to be raising him with such good manners too. How sweet McKay is to feel his friend's pain like that.

Dancin Queen said...

You are so kind to take him under your wing and love him like that. Although I admit, he doesn't sound hard to love! Thanks for the perspective.

Diane said...

Is that what is meant by "it takes a village"? How grateful I am for the village that surrounded me while raising my kids (with a husband). You are blessing his life, and he is blessing yours. Thanks for your thoughtful post...it brought tears.

Holly said...

David certainly is a special young man! Thanks for sharing such sweet thoughts.

Kimberly and Devon said...

Talk about pulling at my heart strings...geeze! Sweet little David sounds like someone we would all enjoy being around.

DanandCindy said...

Wow.

Amanda said...

I had to hold back tears reading this. I can't imagine having to deal with something like that. How great that he has found a great home where he feels welcome and happy.

RobynandJoe said...

Definitely a tear-jerking post. He must really need good friends in his life right now...you guys moved in just in time!

Mahina said...

wow! makes you think, doesn't it? i can't imagine it either! life is fragile. no child should endure such heartache at such a young age. that is great that he has found comfort in your home and with your family!

lainakay said...

What a sweet story. Such a wonderful thing that you're there and can make such a difference in his life. Gotta go get a Kleenex now. Thanks for the reminder of how precious our families are.

sheila said...

thanks for sharing -it's experiences with children like this that enrich our lives. It sounds like this is going to develop into one of those lifelong friendships for your family.

Annie said...

Great post, C. So well written & a great reminder.

Jan said...

Not sure how I happened upon your blog but this story really touched me. How sad for David -- and how lovely for you to make a place for him in your family (so to speak) -- he need you right now, it's clear.

Marty said...

I bet David's dad is happier in heaven knowing he has good friends. And I'm sure his mom feels the support.

raehan said...

Oh, how lucky you are to have David and David to have you.

You can blame it on pregnancy hormones if you want, but this one made me cry--but more for its beauty than its sadness.

gab said...

So glad you are there to be an instant support family. Perhaps not by accident? You guys are lucky that your house is not too quiet. (Me too...)

Lisa@Take90West said...

That is a beautful, and sad, story. You just never know what people are going through.
Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Amber said...

It made me a bit weepy and I don't even know the boy. How BLESSED he is to have found another family that so willing to let him be a part of their lives!

Susan Flemming said...

Sometimes the "angels" God sends into our lives come with broken wings or broken hearts. I'm sure that your family is helping David to heal.

May both he and your family continue to be blessed by each others' presence. And thank you for sharing and touching my heart.

Lisa-Marie said...

PERSPECTIVE and PRIORITIES. You helped straighten mine out today. Thanks!

Celia Fae said...

Thanks for the not-so-sappy and well-written story. It makes me feel like being nicer to the neighbor kids. And maybe sharing my husband with them.

thimblefingers said...

Is this the David I met at the bus stop? Really a very nice young man! I am happy he has your family.

Mique said...

I got the chills as i read that post. Reminds me what my dad always says, "There will always be someone who has it better off than you and there will always be someone that has it worse off than you." (or something like that) As I sit here pitying myself- you just reminded me I have a lot to be thankful for. Thanks- I needed that.

Kelly said...

I am so glad this sweet child has a family to care for him, and give him back some of what was stolen from him at far too early an age. A happy, rambunctious home.