Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Love letter

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.

15 comments:

  1. Velvet this is priceless! What a wonderful letter. Reminds me of the little boy up the street who is totally smitten with my grandgirl Jazzmin. Poor thing has been teased mercilessly about playing hopscotch. A game he'll suffer through just to be near her.

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  2. Well, if there's anything more embarrassing than having your mother catch you playing naked Barbies when you're 6, I guess it's having her tell the world about it on her blog years later when you're in your 40's. Thanks bunches, Mom! SO happy to have all of your readers think I'm a perv!

    And by the way, that whole thing was ENTIRELY the brainstorm of Kelli and that weird kid Andy. I had nothing to do with any of that at all. TOTAL innocent bystander. Sheesh.

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  3. aw, that's so sweet! Thanks for sharing it with us. I wonder what happened to Andy, too!

    And Kim, that's right- I think you're a perv! ;-)

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  4. Well, you thought he loved your girls but you were the apple of this little guy's eye.

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  5. Velvet, That is one awfully sweet letter. And Kim's comments have me rolling. Wouldn't she have been the oldest of the trio? LOL! Too funny!

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  6. Kat, I like to believe boys like that will grow up to take a certain amount of manly pride in changing their babies' diapers without gagging.

    Kim, I guess we mothers never outgrow our ability to embarrass our kids without even trying. ;)

    Janet, no doubt Andy is spending time with his own live Barbie these days. I hope she appreciates him.

    Sister-Three, I could always charm the little boys and the really old men, but the guys my own age were much more difficult. Now that I'm pushing 65, I guess I'll lose my luck with the really old men.

    Holly, you're right, Kim was the older one, but I believe her when she says naked Barbies weren't her idea. In the pre-Andy days, playing with Barbies consisted mainly of changing their outfits over and over, so the au naturel Barbies was probably Andy's idea. You can't blame a guy for trying to raise the interest level of an otherwise boring girly game.

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  7. Velvet,

    This was hilarious.

    Your post inspired by my comment has jogged in my mind a painful memory that I've now blogged about.

    We're a good combination.

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  8. Yajeev, a good combination indeed.

    So, having read your most recent and delightfully funny post, I have to ask: By any chance is your name really Andy?

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  9. No, not Andy.

    Though Andy is the name of one my faithful readers and commenters. But I'm pretty sure my Andy is not your Andy (he's 27).

    Though, I'm sure if I met you I'd have as kind things to say as your Andy did.

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Yajeev

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  10. that is a sweet letter.

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  11. Yajeev, I was just kidding when I asked if you were Andy, but it did feel slightly weird when an Andy commented on your blog immediately after I did.

    As for the kind things my Andy said, I think he'd be quite surprised if he could see the changes 35 years of couchpotatoism can make.

    Patsy, yes, it is. He was a sweet boy.

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  12. Small world velvet! In 1971, I too was eight years old living in Miami where I was born and we moved at the end of that year.

    And Kim, you're not a perv at all! I got caught pulling the neighbor boy's pants down behind the cherry hedge. Now he's in his 40's, and a State Trooper!....LOL!
    (Um...No officer....that was NOT me who pulled your pants down!)

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  13. Dawn, welcome, and thanks for sharing an interesting coincidence and a candid confession. Now I'm imagining a Florida State Trooper patrolling the highways while distracted by lustful cherry-hedge fantasies. ;-)

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  14. What a lovely letter, no wonder you kept it all this time.

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  15. Sandy, I'm sure Andy had no idea when he wrote that letter that I'd treasure it as much as I do. It makes me wish I'd written more letters to acknowledge the special people whose paths have crossed mine along the way.

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