Sunday, April 6, 2008

New Kid on the Block

Lucy played with the neighborhood kids for the first time the other day. I mean she plays already, of course, whether at daycare or at home etc. And she has friends, though they are mainly kids of our friends; but yesterday was the first time that she played with the neighborhood kids.

We were walking home from daycare and she saw this older girl (about 8 or 9?) whom she knows slightly, and her brothers, also young -- one is about Lucy's age and the other may be 5 or 6 -- out in front of their house kicking a ball against their front stoop, and she was mesmerized. This was happening a few doors down from ours and she wanted to go down and see (she wouldn't go inside) and when we got closer she just stood there frozen, watching. The girl smiled at her and invited her over, but she didn't go, though I could see her become more alert. I asked her if she wanted to go home, hoping that would prompt her to join the kids, but she shook her head and remained planted, watching them kicking the ball.

She drifted closer to them, almost imperceptibly, while holding onto my finger, trying to be cool about it, but she wouldn't break free and go over. Suddenly, she looked up at me and mouthed "My ball," and pulled me home. She wanted to get her ball and bring it outside. So we went inside and found her lime green rubber ball and when we got back outside she started kicking the ball as best she could, to me mainly, and I kicked it back to her, but it generally went in the direction of the kids. And she wanted to play closer to where they were still playing. And she kept getting closer, until she blended in with them, and then suddenly they were playing together, and I saw the next years of her life laid out there...


Margaret said...

Little Lucy from the block! But why aren't all the kids on your street at ballet and karate and soccer and on play dates? How will they get into a good school just kicking a ball around?

trebor87 said...

thanks for that sweet story dave. My mom and sister's names are lucy. you made my day with that post. man, . .