Being a kid in the summertime is one of the greatest joys in life. Especially for little kids, it’s so easy to make instant friends at some random place. A wedding dance? You’re a kid, I’m a kid, let’s make a fort under the tables! Your dad’s company picnic? You’re a kid, I’m a kid, let’s go climb some trees. Your parents’ couples league at the bowling alley? You’re a kid, I’m a kid, let’s go play on the giant rolls of cable at the industrial building next door.
Sometimes you’re friends for a day, two days, sometimes for a whole summer. Usually you had a blast while you were together, once in a while one came along who was a nuisance or horning in on your turf. A friend of a relative, a neighbor’s cousin, the kid who spends summers with his dad, the boy on your brother’s baseball team. I can still remember some names, a few faces from those days. Ryan, Shannon, Leah, Denise, Stuart, Lorri, Dodie…
But she was 7, and he’s 4, so it took some time for him to make his move, but by the next tournament they were spending time together, and he even found out her name. This weekend, the last one of the season, Emma and Alex played at the park, were sitting across from each other twirling umbrellas. He knows who her favorite princess is. And the last time I saw them together, they were coming back from the playground, holding hands.
It made me a little bit sad to think that they probably won’t ever play like that together again. Even if David ends up on a team with her brother again, which is possible, but not a guarantee, will they remember each other? She’ll be a worldly second grader and Alex won’t even have a year of school under his belt yet. So the best I could do was just look at them and smile, and be glad they had their moment together.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011