Yajeev left a funny comment about my last post. In part he wrote: "The first house belonged to the Smiths. I was friends with their daughter. I had a crush on her and even played Barbies with her just so she'd hang out with me." As soon as I read those words, I knew what I'd write about next.
In 1970 and 1971, we lived in Miami, Florida. One of my daughters' most frequent playmates was a little boy, Andy, who lived directly behind us. Andy was seven when my girls were six and eight, a cute little guy whose freckled face radiated innocence.
I used to watch from the window as the kids played in the front yard. I understood why Andy might like to join in the high-energy games, but when the girls set up a complete Barbie village near the front sidewalk, it surprised me that he seemed so interested in that kind of play. It surprised me for several days in a row. Then I stepped outside quietly and got close enough to discover that Barbie and Ken were naked. It could have been worse, I know, but that was the end of playing Barbie with boys.
Andy, bless his heart, stayed around anyway, and in the first months of 1972, when we moved to Georgia, he seemed sad to see us go. We gave him our new address before we left, and it was only days later that I got a letter from him, a letter that brightened my day and still does, thirty-five years later. When I read Yajeev's comment, I knew I had to dig this out and share it with you (click to enlarge):
Isn't that the sweetest thing ever? This is the best letter I ever got from someone not in my family -- certainly sweeter and more heartfelt than anything ever written to me by any in the series of men in my life. I like Andy's letter even more because he included our whole family in his affections, even though his early man-training led him to "like" instead of "love" my husband. And because he erased the word "girl" and replaced it with "lady."
Andy would be more than forty years old today. He was a sweet, sensitive boy, and I'd love to know what kind of man he grew up to be.