I've created a monster.
I got home from work last night and Z-boy and Dear Man were hanging out in the kitchen while Z-boy finished up writing sentences for his spelling words. They'd already gone for a bike ride and ordered dinner (I have got to get to the grocery store!!!). The kitchen was clean; the dishwasher running and the money already set out for the delivery guy.
After we finished our pizza, Z-boy turned to me and said, "I want to go for a walk with you now."
So I re-donned my sneakers, grabbed my cane and a bottle of water and we struck out for the second time that day. Just a couple of laps around the block (it's a long, hilly block). We chatted as we walked and things were going well until we spotted a kid around Z's age riding a really tiny motorbike toy. He circled us and took off down the street. MY first though was that thing is so small, any car coming around the corner would never see him in time. Z-BOY's first thought was I want one of those!!!!
We proceeded to argue for half a block about the suitability of such a toy, then falling into huffing silence. As we rounded back onto our street again, Z-boy asked if we could walk around the block again. I rather sternly said yes, but ONLY if I didn't hear another word about that motorbike thing. He pouted but agreed.
As we approached the dreaded section of our walk, I was relieved to see that the kid was off the bike and throwing a football around with a couple of 12-ish year old boys. As we drew even, one of the boys asked if Z-boy would like to play with them. He glanced up for my nod before running over and introducing himself. Two of the kids had initials for names (AJ & JB, JB being the one around Z-boy's age) and the other older kid was John. AJ got called in almost immediately to do homework, but JB and John remained. Upon learning that Z-boy had never thrown or caught or even held a football, John was very patient in explaining how to do all those things. Then the played "Jackpot", which is a throwing and catching game. Z actually caught one!!! They spent the next half-hour running up and down the length of two yards and rolling on the ground. AJ made it back out to play for about 10 minutes before I decided it was time to go (it was getting dark and Z-boy now definitely needed a bath before bed).
The boys all ran over to say goodbye when I called Z-boy to go. I told them I was very glad to see them and had been wondering where the kids in the neighborhood were. They said they were the only ones.... unless you counted the two teenage girls that lived two blocks over. I said, "Z's not quite old enough to play with them yet," which started some nudging and snickering between AJ and John, who declared that AJ thought he was old enough to play with them.
Then ALL the boys blushed.