The past six months’ filth built up on my truck, however, I wasn’t up for giving my big, bad buddy a bubble bath therefore, I felt it sufficient to only wash the rims. I grabbed a bucket, pair of screaming yellow rubber gloves, a scrubber, Murphy’s Oil Soap and a step stool to sit on. In a matter of seconds Palmer, the five-year-old boy next door, came charging out of his house with his powerful sword, a stick from the yard, gripped tightly in his tiny hand. He grabbed the scrubber in his other hand and began helping.
“Dude, your tireth are tho dirty!” he exclaimed with his youthful speech. I told him we’d give them an extra cleaning so my truck would run smoother. He raced from one tire to the next turning the dirt into muddy globs, which made me smile. After 30 minutes, we admired our efforts.
We piled all the cleaning items back into the emptied bucket and then cleaned the water bowl set out for the neighborhood cats. He noticed one of the neighbor’s cats and asked, “Ith that Maxth?” I said it was and told Palmer Max always comes right over when he sees I’ve put fresh water in the bowl. He leaned over and gently pet Max’s coat while Max lapped up the water.
Palmer stood up, looked at me and asked, “Hey, do you like my mom?” Curious, I said, “Yes, I do. I also like your father and your three brothers.” He put his first finger to his scraped chin and then asked, “Do you like me?” I said, “You bet I do!” He tilted his head to the side and asked, “Why do you like me?” I said, “Because you’re kind to me, you help me pick the weeds in my yard, you pick flowers to put in my hair, you talk to me really nicely and you’re always happy to see me.”
Palmer then asked me to tie the string back on his sword and said, “You and me need to go on a date. I’ll get Thanta’s sleigh to pick you up in. You can buy me an ithe cream cone and thome Legoths. I’ll buy you a purple hat with a purple flower and a ring, k?” I told him that sounded perfect.
His mother called his name and I walked him to their mini van. She told me they’re going to look at a new home and will be moving April 1 as the owners were returning in a month. I was crushed and told her I’d miss them dearly. I let her know Palmer was the biggest help with my yard work and washing the rims of my truck.
With that, Palmer pointed at me and said to his mother, “Mom, me and her are going on a date.” Her eyes flew open wide and asked him, “Did you say you’re going on a date?” He nodded his head up and down while climbing into the far back seat of the family van. I asked her whether I could give him a dime for helping and she said that’d be fine.
As their van pulled away, I saw Palmer’s tiny hand waving from the back seat and I solemnly waved back. This afternoon’s treasured time with Palmer reminded of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s insightful words, “We find in the beauty and happiness of children that which makes the heart too big for the body.” Yes, it was in fact magic.
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