on monday morning, we awoke to find that a lovely thick blanket of snow had fallen during the night. the boys were ecstatic that school was cancelled and hurried outside with winn as soon as they could to get some use out of those sleds of theirs.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
they left without even telling me, and i wasn't sure where the search for the perfect sledding hill would lead them, but i thought oh well, i'll enjoy a little quiet before i trek out in the snow to find them.
it wasn't long before i heard the front door open and close. then i heard the rustling of a jacket and a little nose sniffling. i went to investigate and found that it was a little neighbor boy from up the street, a classmate of wyatt's. i invited him to come in and have some hot cocoa and he readily agreed. he was cold and had no gloves, hat, scarf or snow boots in this freezing weather, just his regular clothes and sneakers and a coat.
we sat at the table and sipped our hot drinks while he told me about his dog, first grade, his uncle that's staying at his house right now that he and his mom can't wait to get rid of, and the time he missed the bus last summer for day camp and had to walk across town by himself, all the while saying under his breath, "i'm not scared. i'm not scared. i'm not scared." he just turned seven last month. after about thirty minutes, he decided he was ready to brave the elements again. he put his shoes and coat back on, and out he went.
i looked out the window, still didn't see winn and the boys, and figured i could catch up on some emails and such, so i puttered around, doing my thing, drinking in the unusual silence for about half an hour.
next time i looked out the window, i did see my boys and some other neighbor kids sledding down the hill that's down and across the street a bit from our house. i didn't want to miss everything, so i was getting myself together to go outside when i heard the front door open and close. it was the neighbor boy again.
he told me he'd hit his head while sledding and came inside because he didn't want to get hurt again. he said he probably needed some more hot cocoa. in my rush to get outside, i didn't listen very well, and i said, "well, do you think you could come back outside with me to watch wyatt and seth for just a bit and then we could all come in and warm up?" he said sure.
but when he got to the front door, he just slid onto the floor in a little heap and started sobbing. "i'm so cold--i'm so cold--i can't feel my hands--i'm so cold--." alarmed, i rushed over to him, snatched him up, made him sit in front of our little gas fireplace, wrapped him up in a quilt, exchanged his sopping wet socks for some dry ones, and then fixed him another cup of hot cocoa. he came to the table, still wrapped in the quilt, to drink his cocoa and eat his animal crackers, and he gradually began to thaw out and warm up.
this time he told me, as we sipped our hot drinks, that the previous night he and his sister had called 911 because their parents were yelling and fighting and that at one point his dad was trying to choke his mom. he told me the police took his dad away and he hopes his dad doesn't come back. he told me that they will have to move away if his dad comes back. he doesn't want to move away because he likes his school and his friends. then we talked some more about his dog and about his art class at school and various other things until winn, wyatt and seth came home.
i am haunted by the image of this heartbroken little boy falling on my floor, crying, crying, this child who had come to the end of his rope, the end of himself, crying out for somebody to help him.
Posted by Miska at Wednesday, March 04, 2009